Man jailed for unprovoked 'zombie' knife attack on 21-year-old

Ipswich Crown Court

Liam Lofting was jailed for eight years at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 23-year-old who left a man with a long-term injury to his arm after stabbing him with a “zombie” knife in an unprovoked attack near Clacton seafront has been jailed for eight years.

Sentencing Liam Lofting, Recorder Sally O ‘Neill QC said the victim’s injuries could have been a lot worse if he hadn’t put up his arm up to defend himself.

She described the attack as “unprovoked, planned and unexplained” and said that even though Lofting had no previous convictions she was satisfied he was dangerous.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the 21-year-old victim had gone to Worcester Court in Clacton- on Sea to pick up some clothes and had said hello to Lofting who he knew through a mutual friend.

When the victim came out of the flats he was attacked with a “zombie” knife by Lofting and suffered a serious wound when he put his arm up  to defend himself, said Gareth Hughes, prosecuting. They are called 'zombie' knives as they often mimic weapons seen in horror films.

After initially being taken to a local hospital the victim was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge where he underwent surgery to repair a severed artery, muscles and veins in his right arm.

The court heard that surgeons had described the injury as potentially life-threatening and limb threatening.

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In a statement the victim described the devastating impact the injury had had on his life and said Lofting had changed his life for ever.

“He has changed my now and my forever and I didn’t do anything to deserve this,” he said.

He said he’d had to learn to use his left hand to do things such as writing as he was no longer able to use his right hand.

He said his mental health had suffered as a result of the attack and it had also affected his social life and relationships with family and friends.

Lofting, of North Road, Clacton, admitted wounding with intent to cause  grievous bodily him on May 25 last year during the incident at Marine Parade West .

Howard Cohen, for Lofting, said his client had no previous convictions and was autistic.

He said Lofting made friends with people who took advantage of him and he had been the victim of “cuckooing” where drug dealers use a vulnerable person’s home as a base.

He said Lofting had been a model prisoner and was the father of a young child.

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