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Man stabbed victim twice in stomach in Bridgnorth street attack

By Sue Austin | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

A knife attacker has been jailed for stabbing another man twice in the stomach in Bridgnorth town centre.

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Victim Paul Legg was attacked by Mark Harris on the Stoneway Steps in the town centre, needing six stitches in his wounds.

Harris, 38, of Pattington Road, Perton, Wolverhampton admitted a charge of wounding at an earlier date and appeared for sentence yesterday at Shrewsbury Crown court

He also admitted charges of dangerous driving and driving while disqualified relating to driving erratically on the A41 and M54 after taking cocaine and another drug

In jailing him for a total of 22 months, Judge Peter Barrie told Harris that it was very lucky that neither Mr Legg nor anyone on the roads during the driving offences had been seriously injured or killed.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that the wounding offence took place in November 2017 but Harris had failed to turn up for court hearings and it was only when he committed the driving offences that he was re-arrested for the stabbing.

The judge was told that Mr Legg had been walking with friends on the Stoneway Steps in the town on November 5 two years ago they came encountered Harris. He made accusations against the group and lashed out at one of them before turning his attention to Mr Legg.

He pulled out a lock knife with a four-inch blade and stabbed Mr Legg twice in the abdomen.

Mr Legg was taken to hospital and needed six stitches in his wounds. In a victim impact statement Mr Legg said that the attack had had an effect on his social life as he was now worried about where he went at night.

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Cocaine

Harris was arrested shortly afterwards and charged. But he failed to turn up at court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

In 2018 an off-duty police officer was driving on the A41 towards the M54 when he noticed Harris tailgating him and driving erratically.

There was a series of bad driving, the court heard, and the officer contacted police about it.

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He followed him onto the M54 and Harris's driving was so bad that he crossed the hard shoulder and mounted the embankment.

The off-duty officer went to get him out of the car and recognised him as someone wanted for the stabbing. Blood tests showed he had been more than six times the limit for driving, with cocaine in his system and he also tested positive for a second drug.

Deborah White for Harris, said her client had had depression and anxiety which led to his using cocaine.

"His drug use and his life spiralled out of control," she said.

She said that he was now abstaining from drugs, his behaviour had changed and he hoped to rebuild his life.

Judge Barrie said that the stabbing of Mr Legg could have caused a catastrophic injury.

"When you were going through a difficult time in your life you turned to making substantial use of cocaine. It isn't an excuse but it is an explanation," he said.

He imposed 16 months imprisonment for wounding and possession of a bladed article and six months for dangerous driving and said Harris should serve half the sentence in prison before being released on licence.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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