Lower Grange man faces prison over Shipley knife attack

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Crown Court Bradford Crown Court

A man who slashed another man’s throat in an unprovoked knife attack has been warned he faces a significant jail sentence.

Victim Benjamin Hanslip needed 12 stitches after he was attacked by David Lawler at a flat in Crag Road, Windhill, Shipley.

Prosecutor David Hall told Bradford Crown Court the incident happened at 2am, on September 1, 2012.

The defendant had visited the flat with a friend and Mr Hanslip arrived later.

Mr Hall said Mr Hanslip was standing by the fireplace when Lawler, for no apparent reason, jumped up, got him in a head lock from behind and slashed his throat with a Stanley knife, inflicting a ten to 12ins long wound.

He then left the scene.

Lawler, who denied being present when the incident occurred, was traced through a can of lager at the flat which had his DNA on it.

Lawler, 31, of Mallard Court, Lower Grange, Bradford, pleaded not guilty to wounding with intent, but was convicted by a jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

After the verdict it was revealed Lawler had a string of convictions for violence, beginning with possession of a butterfly knife when he was a youth in 1998.

He then had convictions for robbery in 2001 and assault in 2003, for which he received youth custody. And he was given a 13-month prison sentence in January 2013 for violent disorder.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, said Lawler had a troubling history and it was the sort of case that could trigger an indeterminate or extended sentence.

Judge Thomas said: “That sentence does not get passed without an assessment by probation about what future risk there is about him.”

Mr Hall said the judge might want to consider the issue of dangerousness.

Remanding Lawler in custody until sentencing on June 25, Judge Thomas told him: “You know this sort of offence carries with it significant sentencing, but I need to know more about you.

“Aspects about you historically, and about this present case, are concerning.”

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