Plaistow screwdriver stabber jailed

The Royal Hop Pole pub in Tewkesbury

The Royal Hop Pole pub in Tewkesbury - Credit: Archant

A binge drinker who stabbed a man in the neck with a screwdriver has been jailed for five and a half years.

John Turner, of Pelly Road, Plaistow, narrowly avoided puncturing a major artery during his attack on Robert Butler outside a pub in Gloucestershire last Christmas.

His neck wound required eight stitches but if Turner had ruptured his carotid artery he would have bled to death in 30 seconds.

Mr Butler had been drinking with a few friends in the smoking area outside the Royal Hop Pole in Tewekesbury when Turner began calling him names like “country bumpkin” and “farmer boy”, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Mr Butler, who had never seen Turner, before walked over to him, pushed him and asked: “What’s your problem? Leave it out - it’s Christmas and we’re having a good time.”


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Turner went back into the pub, saying: “You’ll see me in a couple or minutes”, before returning with an eight to 10 inch screwdriver and launching his attack.

He fled the scene but voluntarily surrended to police a few days later and candidly accepted his guilt.

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Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said his client was “lucky” to have avoided a fatal injury or have lost an eye in the attack, while Turner was also fortunate that he was not facing a more serious charge.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, Mr Butler said he has suffered panic attacks and nightmares since the assault, with his social life badly affected as he is scared to go out for a drink.

Joe Maloney, defending, said Turner had told him: “I feel gutted about what I have done - very, very remorseful and disgusted.”

He said drink was Turner’s “demon” and something that he will have to conquer as when sober he is an intelligent and decent man.

Sentencing him on Friday, Judge Jamie Tabor said: “When drunk you turn into an irrational and highly dangerous person.”

The attack had been utterly unprovoked and throughly unpleasant, he added.

Read more:

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