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Man jailed for stabbing party host in head five times
A man who stabbed a new friend five times in the head with his own knife, while on licence for a similar “horrific” offence, has been locked up indefinitely.
Duran Devanney struck his victim with such force the knife blade snapped, leaving the point embedded in his skull. It had to be removed by surgery, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.
Devanney (pictured), 27, of Collbrook Avenue, Odsal, Bradford, was told by Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC that he had subjected his victim, Robert Atkinson, to a ferocious and sustained attack, stabbing him repeatedly to his face and skull.
Judge Durham Hall said there was no explanation for the “dreadful” attack, and added: “You are a gravely dangerous man. You are a very real risk to your friends, and the public in general.”
Prosecutor Ewan McLachlan said the offence took place in the early hours of Boxing Day last year at Mr Atkinson’s home in Minnie Street, Haworth. The complainant and defendant were among 15 people who went out together for Christmas lunch. Some of them then returned to Mr Atkinson’s home. Devanney and Mr Atkinson did not really know each other.
There was a disagreement and Mr Atkinson told the defendant to leave the house. He then noticed Devanney was holding a kitchen knife with a two and a half to three-inch blade, and tried to grab it from him.
Devanney held the complainant’s shoulder and stabbed him five times in the head.
He needed 12 stitches to his wounds.
Mr McLachlan said Devanney was on licence having been released in April 2010 from a four and a half year prison sentence for wounding with intent.
That offence involved attacking another friend with a knife in his kitchen. The victim was cut in the face and suffered stab injuries to his arms and legs. He ran upstairs and jumped out of the bathroom window to escape.
Mr McLachlan said the latest victim was frightened to go out and had split up with his girlfriend since he was attacked.
Devanney pleaded guilty to wounding with intent. His solicitor advocate, Andrew Walker, accepted it was an extremely serious matter but said it had been a flurry of blows which “was over almost as soon as it had begun,” rather than a sustained attack over a length of time.
Judge Durham Hall said Devanney had been looking for a fight. He had armed himself with a knife from his victim’s kitchen.
The judge sentenced him to Imprisonment for the Public Protection. Devanney must serve a minimum of four and a half years - the equivalent of a nine-year sentence - before he can be considered for release.
But Judge Durham Hall added: “The prospects of you being considered safe to be released after four and a half years are remote in the extreme. It may be you are in custody, and I suspect you will be, for a very considerable period until you can demonstrate you pose no risk to the public.”
Detective Inspector Ryan Bragg of Airedale and North Bradford Police, said: “We welcome this sentence today for what was a sustained and vicious attack on a man in his own home, carried out with such ferocity the weapon used was broken in the assault.
“This kind of violent and utterly contemptible behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated in our communities.”