A COLD-HEARTED knifeman told police that he hoped his 12-year-old girl victim would die, a court heard.
Lawrence Wood, who was this week handed a life sentence for the youngster’s attempted murder, added that he “felt nothing” about what he had done and wanted her father to be upset and he “wanted people to know that he could not be messed with.”
When the 31-year-old from Lincoln Place, Marsh Green first appeared before Liverpool Crown Court in May he replied “turnips” when the charge of attempted murder was put to him and the judge formally entered a not guilty plea.
However yesterday when his trial was due to start, Wood pleaded guilty to the crime which took place in Stranraer Road, Marsh Green on February 8. Judge John Roberts ruled that Wood, who has no previous convictions and has refused to be examined by a psychiatrist, poses a serious danger to the public.
He said that a sentence of life imprisonment had to be imposed “to reflect the public abhorrence of such grotesque crime involving a defenceless 12-year-old girl in the presence of her three-year-old brother.”
Judge Roberts told Wood, who showed no emotion, that he must serve 15 years before he can apply for parole but warned him that he may never be released.
The court heard that although the girl has recovered physically she has been left permanently scarred and she and her family have been badly psychologically affected.
Her mother stated that the family has “undergone a complete change of life.” The victim’s personality has changed and she is withdrawn, her young brother has become aggressive and often makes stabbing actions and they are both awaiting counselling.
Mr Ainsworth had told the court that the incident happened about 4.10pm on February 8 as the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was playing on her scooter outside her home.
“Wood grabbed her by her arm or shoulder. He did not say anything but she felt a pain and then she felt wetness to her back. He let go of her and as he started to walk off she saw he was holding a knife. It was seven and a half inches long including a blade of three and a half inches.
She was seriously injured but nevertheless managed to run back to her house and banged on the door and when it was opened she said, “I’ve been stabbed.”
She was taken by ambulance to Wigan Infirmary where it was found she had two stab wounds to the left side of her back. The higher one below her shoulder blade had punctured her lung and she needed a chest drain as it had collapsed. The lower wound was in her kidney area and she had to undergo surgery.
Her coat showed three stab marks consistent with a further unsuccessful attempt to stab her.
Mr Ainsworth said that Wood told police that the had no grudge against the victim though he did not like her older brother for bullying another boy and had fallen out with her father over drugs. His father had refused to lend him £10 which “made him angry so he decided to go out and kill someone. He said he had always wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.”
His QC John McDermott told the court that Wood had repeatedly refused to have a psychiatric report prepared or any sort of evaluation. He said that there was no point asking for an adjournment for reports. “He simply would not co-operate.”
He added that he had warned Wood about the likely sentence he would receive but he was adamant. “It is an unusual but egregious case.”
After the hearing Det Con Richard Willoughby from Wigan CID said: “Clearly this is a horrifying and random attack on an innocent young girl who was simply out playing in the street with her younger sibling.
“Only Wood himself will ever know what was going through his head at the time to prompt him to carry out such an attack. Today, this dangerous individual has rightly been put behind bars for a long time where he can pose no further threat to others in the community.
“Although this young girl has recovered physically from her injuries, this has been an extremely distressing time for both her and her family. I hope today they can now begin to move on from their ordeal.”