Man, 30, avoids prison after wounding victim with knife

ipswich crown court

Danny Whitelock was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Essex man who threatened his victim with a knife before wounding him with the weapon has avoided an immediate prison sentence. 

Danny Whitelock, 30, sent a series of text messages to his girlfriend on October 15, 2020, telling her he was looking for someone, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Matthew Bagnall, prosecuting, said Whitelock was driving around the East Hill area of Colchester and just before midnight sent a message saying: "Someone's getting killed." 

Whitelock pulled up alongside the victim and questioned who he was, Mr Bagnall said. 

He then produced a knife and began waving it out of the car window at the victim, the court heard. 

Whitelock began driving towards the victim before getting out of his car with the knife. 

The victim turned to run and felt "a prick in the back", Mr Bagnall told the court. 

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The victim had a can in his hand and was looking to throw it at Whitelock but the knife then came into contact with the man's right hand. 

The injuries, to the victim's back and hand, were not too serious, Mr Bagnall said. 

The police were called and Whitelock was arrested around one hour and 20 mins after the incident. 

A knife was seized, which was later found to have blood and DNA of the victim on it. 

Whitelock's mobile phone was also seized, which revealed the messages that he had sent prior to the incident. 

Mr Bagnall told the court that the messages showed there was "a significant level of pre-planning". 

The court heard that Whitelock had no previous convictions prior to the incident. 

Whitelock, of North Road, Clacton, previously pleaded guilty to a section 20 assault, threatening a person with a knife, and possessing a knife in public. 

Catherine Bradshaw, mitigating, called the incident "a moment of madness" on Whitelock's part. 

She said immediate custody would have a "catastrophic effect" on Whitelock's three-year-old son. 

Ms Bradshaw added that Whitelock is currently employed as a forklift truck driver and takes fatherhood "very seriously". 

Recorder Jeremy Benson QC told Whitelock: "On October 15, 2020, you foolishly went out with a knife. As a result of trying to scare someone with a knife, you caused injuries to them recklessly.

"You must understand that knives are extremely dangerous." 

Whitelock was sentenced to 22 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. 

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £510 and compensation to the victim of £1,000.