A ‘DANGEROUS’ youth convicted of child rape stabbed a bricklayer in Hereford city centre, the attacker claiming he had become a ‘target’ because of his sexual offending.

The 17-year-old was sentenced to detention at Worcester Crown Court on Monday, prompting calls of ‘shame on you!’ directed at the judge by the defendant’s mum in the public gallery.

The youth, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, admitted section 18 grievous bodily harm (with intent) after he stabbed the bricklayer in the left arm on January 29 this year.

The defendant could be seen with his head lowered, weeping in the dock throughout the hearing.

Michael Conry, prosecuting, said the defendant threw a punch and the victim hit back, catching the defendant in the jaw who then produced a Stanley knife.

The blade was raised in an upward motion and the victim felt his attacker was ‘aiming towards his neck’ and ‘did not really seem to care where the blade landed’ said Mr Conry.

The victim did not realise initially that he had been stabbed but when he realised shouted out: “You stabbed me!” Police and ambulance arrived at the scene. Mr Conry described the victim as ‘bleeding profusely’.

The injury was described as being one centimetre to one and a half centimetres in width and of ‘some length’. The victim required 16 stitches and suffered a chipped bone. There was also a puncture wound over the left elbow. The youth was arrested a short time later, giving a no comment interview to police.

Mr Conry said the youth’s previous convictions included raping a girl under 13, two rapes of a girl under 16, two sexual assaults of a female under 13, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, taking indecent photographs of a child, blackmail and two offences of conspiring to supply cannabis.

Abigail Nixon, defending, said

her client had mental health difficulties and had been sectioned, describing him as a suicide risk on 24 hour watch.

Miss Nixon also told the judge: “Your Honour is faced with a very frightened and tearful young man. He’s immature and naïve and he has made a very, very foolish decision.”

Judge Jim Tindal described the defendant as a ‘very troubled young man’. told him he was now at a turning point and warned him hat if he carried on offending he would face longer and longer sentences, including extended sentences.

He said: “When you were younger – 14 years of age – you had a relationship with a girl who was two years younger than you. That led to a number of different offences. In the end you pleaded guilty to a number of those on the basis that this was a relationship between children. You were found guilty in relation to other matters including the offence of rape.”

He said the court had then been persuaded to adopt a sentence other than detention, imposing instead a youth rehabilitation order.

“As a result of your offences in relation to the girl you became, predictably, a target for abuse and harassment. I accept that is probably the reason you had a knife with you” said judge Tindal. However, he said the reality was that the victim ‘did not deserve what you did to him’.

The judge said he posed ‘a significant risk of serious harm to members of the public’. “In other words, you are dangerous” said judge Tindal.

He ordered the youth to be detained for five years – two years for the matters for which he was resentenced and three years for the GBH. A 12 month concurrent sentence was also imposed for possession of the bladed article.