Teen who knifed singing stranger got 'butterfly feeling' from stabbing fantasies

Tyler Menzies

Tyler Menzies has been sentenced to four years and four months' detention in a young offender institution - Credit: Essex Police

A teenager who stabbed a 63-year-old man with a kitchen knife in a late night attack in Colchester town centre, after having fantasies about hurting people, has been sentenced to four years and four months' detention.

Sentencing 18-year-old Tyler Menzies, Judge Martyn Levett said he had attacked Paul Fairweather, who had been singing an 80s song after leaving a nightclub, for “no apparent reason apart from his singing.”

Following his arrest, Menzies told police he had no regrets about what he’d done and said he’d gone out with the knife intending to stab or rob someone.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Menzies had also told a psychiatrist he had violent fantasies about hurting people and being involved in gang violence, and that he got a “butterfly feeling” when he thought about stabbing someone.

Menzies, 18, of Walsingham Road, Colchester, admitted wounding Paul Fairweather with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and having a knife in the early hours of Sunday May 23.

The court heard that Menzies had a previous conviction for having a machete on a train and assaulting a police officer with hot water.

Sentencing him to four years and four months' detention in a young offender institution, with a five-year extended licence period, Judge Levett said Menzies was willing to arm himself with a knife with the intention of stabbing people or hurting them.

Most Read

He said Menzies had been assessed as posing a high risk of causing serious harm by the commission of serious offences in the future and it was necessary to protect the public from him in the future.

The judge said that he was having to deal with an increasing number of late night violent incidents, including stabbings, which blighted the streets of towns in the area.

The court heard that Mr Fairweather and a friend had been in Rubix nightclub and had left in high spirits, singing an 80s song.

On an earlier occasion, the court heard that Menzies, who was with two other people, “didn’t take kindly to the singing” and there was a confrontation.

Mr Fairweather told Menzies to “shut up” and then saw him pull out a knife and lunge towards him.

He managed to move slightly backwards and the knife made contact with the area near his armpit.

Following the initial blow, Menzies had made four or five further attempts to stab Mr Fairweather, who had kicked out at him and avoided any further injury.

Menzies had run off but was arrested shortly afterwards in a car park after discarding the knife, which had a five-inch serrated blade.

He later told police he’d had the knife to stab or rob someone and “any target would do.”

Mr Fairweather was taken to Colchester Hospital and had stitches in a puncture wound just above his left armpit.

In a victim impact statement, he said he had suffered flashbacks since the attack and felt he could have died if he hadn’t managed to move backwards.

He said anyone who used a knife in a fight was a coward. 

Sacha Bailey for Menzies said her client had a traumatic childhood and was keen to receive help for his issues.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter