Knifeman stabbed pair in drunken rage after violence marred birthday night out

A dangerous drunk who turned birthday celebrations into a near tragedy has been jailed for nine years.

John Hooper
John Hooper

John Hooper stabbed a woman and a man in a drunken rage, a court heard.

He had invited several friends out for an evening out at a pub to mark the occasion on August 18, a judge heard.

But the 33-year-old became increasingly aggressive the more he drank, prompting the group to leave the Ash Tree in Dudley Road, Wolverhampton.

Angry Hooper even punched a parked van as the group walked back to an address in Argyle Road, Goldthorn Hill, which was the home of Sharon Clair, whose daughter's birthday was being celebrated by them.

Miss Clair, who lived next door to the defendant's stepfather, later told police: "He wanted to fight everybody."

As they reached the address Hooper warned: "I am going to get a knife and stab everyone here to death."

Soon afterwards he emerged from his stepfather's home clutching a large kitchen knife.

Miss Clair, whom he had known for over five years, told him to put the weapon away and stop 'acting like an idiot,' explained Mr David Bennett, prosecuting, who continued: "She then turned round and opened the door to her flat.

"As she did so she felt what she thought was a punch to her back but when she put her hand there it became blood stained and she realised she had been stabbed."

Anil Kumar, a near neighbour who had also been in the group at the pub, rushed to her rescue and was knifed twice in the right upper arm as he and another man bundled Hooper out of the way and shut the front door of Miss Clair's home on the attacker, the court heard.

She was bleeding heavily and collapsed

The attacker then started plunging the knife into the PVC door, prompting Mr Kumar to reveal he feared Miss Clair could have been murdered if he had not intervened.

She was rushed to hospital where the knife wound was discovered to have damaged her spleen and she was detained for two days.

Mr Kumar was also taken to hospital where the cuts to his arm were glued by doctors.

Hooper left the scene before police arrived but was found nearby and arrested.

The knife was not recovered.

When interviewed the next day he confessed he was so drunk he could remember nothing of the incident.

Mr Justin Jamola, defending, told Wolverhampton Crown Court: "His mental health history makes for sad reading but this was not a prolonged or sustained attack."

Hooper from Hobgate Road, Heath Town, who had 27 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to two cases of wounding with intent and possession of a knife.

He was given an extended nine year jail sentence with four years more monitoring than normal on release.

Judge Nicholas Webb told him: "You used a weapon which you had announced you would do and had brought to the scene. You pose a high risk of causing serious harm to the public."

Both Miss Clair and Mr Kumar still suffer from flashbacks of the incident. She said of Hooper: "What that man did was evil."

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