Man stabbed for 31p

A KNIFE crime victim - who was stabbed for just 31p - last night welcomed a judge's stern verdict on the robber.

Will Clarke

A KNIFE crime victim - who was stabbed for just 31p - last night welcomed a judge's stern verdict on the robber.

Benjamin Miles, 28, of Bury St Edmunds, said yesterday's indefinite jail sentence handed to Andrew Green, 32, showed the law “took knife crime seriously”.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how Green, of Deck Walk, Bury St Edmunds, demanded cash from Mr Miles who was only carrying 31p.

When he was handed the money the defendant threw aside the coins and continued with his assault until his victim began to fight back - wrestling his attacker to the ground.

Green ended up being more seriously injured than Mr Miles - suffering a black eye, grazing to his hand and cuts to his forehead caused by his own knife.

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The defendant - who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of robbery - confronted his victim in Tollgate Lane, Bury, on the evening of October 25.

Prosecutors in court yesterday described how Mr Miles had tried to placate his attacker but Green demanded he hand over his wallet, lunging forward with a knife, cutting Mr Miles twice in the stomach.

In a desperate bid to get help the 28-year-old ran into the road and tried to flag down a car but Green dragged Mr Miles onto the pavement where he punched him in the stomach with the handle of the knife while shouting: “I'll stab you. Give me your money.”

Speaking after the trial yesterday Mr Miles, who is trained in self defence, said: “I am not an aggressive person but he kept bothering me.

“I thought 'it is not fair - why should I give you my stuff'. It was then he went for me again and I fought back. I wrestled him to the floor until he let go of the knife.

“It was scary, and afterwards I was pretty shaken, but at the time I was more frustrated. He could have attacked someone who couldn't look after themselves.

“It is disgraceful to pull a knife on anyone and it was shocking for it to happen in Bury.

“As a community we need to stand up to people like this. I wouldn't advise people to fight - it could have gone the other way but why should they hand money over to people who haven't earned it just because they are threatened? It is good to see the justice system take knife crime and public protection seriously.”

After Green was arrested on October 29 he said he was a reforming alcoholic who had not drunk alcohol until the day of the attack - when he had consumed one-and-a-half litres of cider and nine pints of lager.

Green, who had 14 previous convictions dating back to December 1994, had denied he used a knife but in mitigation the court heard that he accepted the seriousness of what he had done and had shown remorse.

But imposing an indeterminate sentence for public protection, Judge John Devaux told Green that he must serve at least two and a half years before he can be considered for parole and only then would he be released if the parole board were satisfied that he no longer posed a risk.

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