Jan 30 2013 by Helen Hunt, Birkenhead News
A WIRRAL man who repeatedly stabbed his friend in the body and face in a brutal attack was jailed for eight years.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Ashley Doran, 28, from Seabank Road, Wallasey, had only just come out of prison when he “lunged” at his friend Ian Wilkinson with a 12in blade after a day of drinking.
His defence lawyer Ian Whitehurst said that Doran had been stricken with grief that day, last August, after hearing a close friend Robert Burke had died and was deeply remorseful for hurting Mr Wilkinson, someone he regarded as being a sort of “brother”.
The sustained assault – which punctured his victim’s lung – was so severe Doran had initially faced an attempted murder charge.
He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of wounding with intent which was accepted by the Crown.
The court heard that Doran learned about his friend’s death while in prison and went drinking with Mr Wilkinson and another friend Christopher Pritchard, who also knew Mr Burke, when he got out and the three had spent the day “drowning their sorrows” in drink.
When they got back to the flat Doran shared with Mr Wilkinson, just after 10pm, Doran went into the kitchen and came out into the sitting room with a chef’s knife, threatening to kill himself.
Mr Wilkinson had tried to talk him around and in the end told him to leave. It was then he lunged at his friend.
Mr Wilkinson, 38, is thought to have been stabbed up to eight times and is permanently scarred.
Because of his early guilty plea, Doran got a 25% reduction in his sentence, making it one of eight years.
The court heard that Doran had 39 convictions for 70 offences on his record but none for violence. It is understood he was serving a short sentence, believed to be for failing to carry out community service, before the attack on Mr Wilkinson.
Sentencing Doran Judge Mark Brown said being asked to leave the flat appeared to be the “catalyst” that sparked the bloody assault.
He said: “For when Mr Wilkinson asked you to leave, your response was to stab him repeatedly to his body and his face. In any view this was a severe and brutal assault.”