Rugby stabbing: attacker ‘didn’t mean to kill’ young man

The case was heard at Warwick Crown Court, which sits at the Justice Centre in Leamington
The case was heard at Warwick Crown Court, which sits at the Justice Centre in Leamington

A Rugby man who repeatedly stabbed another young man as he was sitting in his car has been cleared of trying to kill him in the attack.

Caine Jackson pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to the attempted murder of Troy Watts during the incident in Parkfield Road, Rugby, in September last year.

But Jackson, who was 19 at the time, of Parkfield Road, pleaded guilty to an alternative offence of wounding 21-year-old Mr Watts with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith said Jackson, who was 20 earlier this month, had other convictions which were ‘of a minor nature in the context of this case.’

Accepting Jackson’s pleas, he explained: “The evidence shows that on September 21 he armed himself with a knife and left his house and walked over to a car and attacked the complainant.

“It arose as a result of his belief about a sexual relationship between his girlfriend and Mr Watts, although there was no substance to that belief.”

Mr Grieves-Smith, who said the knife was described as being about ten inches long, continued: “To that extent there was a degree of premeditation.

“Mr Watts was seated in the car talking to someone else and did not anticipate the attack. He was repeatedly stabbed.

“Eventually the defendant was to run off, leaving Mr Watts to be looked after by his girlfriend and mother.

“The principal injury is to his left cheek and a stab wound to his left arm. There is additional damage to his sleeve where the knife has hit the coat but not gone in.

“There has been injury of a significant type; but to secure a conviction for attempted murder it would be necessary to prove an intent to kill.

“In the light of all the evidence I have considered whether there was a reasonable prospect of a conviction, and the pleas are acceptable.”

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones observed: “He has a relatively minor conviction before this act and one relatively minor one after this act.

“So there is nothing in his antecedents which would compel a court to conclude he’s dangerous, but the offence itself might.

“I believe a careful approach by the court would necessitate a psychiatric report.”

Matthew Brook, defending, said: “It was going to be my submission that Your Honour could pass an immediate custodial sentence, which would be of some length, today.

“But I accept the court would want to know as much about his background as possible,” he conceded.

And of the incident itself, he added: “There is a background in that there had been sexting between various parties, although there had been a two to three week gap between that being discovered and this incident.”

Adjourning the case for a psychiatric report to be prepared on Jackson and remanding him in custody, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “I trust you will be seen by a psychiatrist.”