Knife attacker could be jailed for life

A 48-YEAR-OLD man was last night warned that he could face life in jail after being convicted of the attempted murder of his former brother-in-law.Steven Grainger, of New Street Close, Stradbroke, near Eye, had denied the charge and an alternative offence of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

A 48-YEAR-OLD man was last night warned that he could face life in jail after being convicted of the attempted murder of his former brother-in-law.

Steven Grainger, of New Street Close, Stradbroke, near Eye, had denied the charge and an alternative offence of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

But after an eight-day trial at Norwich Crown Court and several hours of deliberations the jury found him guilty of attempted murder by a majority verdict of 10 to two.

Grainger attacked David Bryan in front of horrified shoppers in the car park of Morrison's supermarket in Victoria Road, Diss, just before 10.30am on December 18 last year.


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Former builder Mr Bryan, 62, suffered multiple wounds to his head and hands, a severed tendon in his arm and a deep stab wound behind his ear.

He was stabbed more than 15 times and received serious injuries to his nose and while defending himself was stabbed through the hand.

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Mr Bryan's injuries were so extensive that he needed plastic surgery.

Judge Paul Downes adjourned sentencing for six weeks to allow reports to be prepared, including an assessment of what danger Grainger poses to the public.

He warned Grainger that he could get a life or an indeterminate prison sentence because of the gravity of the case and his previous convictions for violence.

Speaking after the verdict, case officer Det Con Mark Doyle, said: “This was a savage and frenzied attack which could well have resulted in a fatal injury for the victim.

“What happened that day was extremely traumatic for Mr Bryan and he still bears the scars of the attack.

“I would like to pay tribute to the 14 independent witnesses who have taken the time and trouble to travel to court from Diss to give evidence.

“They were superb and did a monumental job. They were absolutely essential to our case.”

Det Con Doyle also described the efforts of supermarket staff as “tremendous”.

He added: “This case was made very complicated by the fact that there had been a long-running dispute among family members and emotions were running high.

Grainger, a former Army driver, fled the scene in his yellow Renault Trafic van.

Officers from Norwich CID sent alerts to ports and airports and circulated his details to police forces across the country in an effort to trace him.

After nearly three weeks, Grainger returned to the area and was arrested on January 5 and subsequently charged.

“By this time he had managed to get rid of the clothing he had been wearing and the knife he used, which was never found,” said Det Con Doyle.

The court heard that Grainger was also married Mr Bryan's daughter, but since the break-up of Mr Bryan's marriage to Grainger's sister, there had been years of hostility between them.

Much of their evidence involved accusations and counter-accusations, with Grainger claiming that Mr Bryan, who has spinal osteo-arthritis, inflicted the injuries on himself.

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