Judge brands knife crime in Sheffield a 'plague' after teen is stabbed in the stomach

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A judge has described knife-crime in Sheffield as a “plague” after a masked teenager stabbed another youngster in the stomach.

Sheffield Crown Court heard on September 15 how Charlie Mitchell, aged 18, of Spa Lane Croft, Woodhouse, Sheffield, had a dispute with another teenager at Jaunty Park, near Gleadless Townend, Sheffield, before he plunged a knife into his abdomen on May 29, 2020.

Judge Michael Slater told Mitchell: “Knife crime is a plague – both in Sheffield and about the country – as everyone is aware. Those carrying knives and indeed using knives normally will go to detention for a significant period of time.

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"The courts are all too sadly familiar with the circumstances where a knife has been pulled in the spur of the moment and someone has ended up dead thereby ending their life and causing grief to their family and friends forever.”

Jaunty Park in Sheffield, where a teenager was stabbed in the stomachJaunty Park in Sheffield, where a teenager was stabbed in the stomach
Jaunty Park in Sheffield, where a teenager was stabbed in the stomach

Matthew Bean, prosecuting, said the complainant – who was aged 16 at the time - had met friends at Base Green, Sheffield, before heading to Jaunty Park where they came across other teenagers including Mitchell who were staring at them.

One of Mitchell’s group asked, “Who’s got beef”, and the complainant went across to resolve matters but he had no intention of using violence, according to Mr Bean.

Mr Bean said: “The defendant was walking around waving a knife and the knife was described as a large, black-handled kitchen knife.”

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Mitchell, who was wearing a balaclava, made a jabbing motion with the knife and missed but when he did this again he caused a wound to the left side of the complainant’s torso, according to Mr Bean.

Mr Bean said the emergency services found the complainant lying in a playing field with a 2cm puncture wound to his upper abdomen but the injury was not life-threatening.

A police dog cornered Mitchell in a ditch, according to Mr Bean, and the knife which had a seven-inch blade was found nearby.

The victim stated he had feared for his life and the wound is still painful and he feels paranoid whenever he leaves home.

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Mitchell, who was aged 16 at the time of the offence and has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to causing unlawful wounding and to possessing an offensive weapon.

Laura Marshall, defending, said Mitchell, who has ADHD, has suffered from past experiences and has been the victim of assaults but he is making positive steps to address his difficulties.

She added: “He has committed no further offending and he has made positive steps to make sure he will not become entangled in the criminal justice system again.”

Ms Marshall said the defendant is very sorry and appreciates what happened could have had more serious consequences.

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Judge Slater told Mitchell: “A young man of similar age was wounded by you with the kitchen knife to his lower abdomen. That could have had more serious consequences as I am sure you understand.”

He added: “It could have resulted in a far more serious injury and even death.”

Judge Slater said if Mitchell had been an adult at the time of the offence he would have imposed a prison sentence.

However, he sentenced Mitchell to a two-year Youth Rehabilitation Order with 12 months of supervision and a knife-crime activity programme.