Knife attack teenager is given 18-year term

A masked teenager who tried to kill his next-door neighbour by stabbing him seven times in an unprovoked attack has been locked up for 18 years.

Scott Coley was just 17 when he armed himself with a nine-inch "Rambo-style" hunting knife, donned dark clothes and a balaclava and attacked David Walton. Now 19, he showed no emotion as he was found guilty of attempted murder at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday. Coley, who was high on cannabis during the attack, blew a kiss to his family as he was sent down.

A jury took just over 15 hours to reach a majority verdict of 10 to two in the case, which the judge described as "uniquely difficult".

During the trial, jurors heard Coley, who kept a collection of knives which he liked "shiny and sharp", had smoked cannabis all day before the attack at a house in Hawthorn Road, Shelfield, Walsall, on July 31.

He claimed to have had a blackout and had unknowingly let himself into his neighbour's house with a key that his parents had for emergencies.

He went upstairs and Mr Walton, a cousin of Coley's father, was stabbed seven times and left with life-threatening injuries, which required two weeks of emergency hospital treatment.

Judge Robin Onions sentenced Coley, of Hawthorn Road, to 18 years detention in a young offenders' institution.

He said the case served as a reminder to drug users that cannabis can be six times stronger today than it has been in recent years.

He said he did not regard Coley as dangerous, so long as he remains off drugs, because he had no history of violence before the attack.

But he said: "Only you will know why you committed this offence.

"I believe this was a pre-meditated offence.

"This was a sustained assault over a period of time with a deadly weapon."

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