Wigan man jailed for horror knife attack

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A Wigan man who viciously attacked another man with a craft knife and a screwdriver on the doorstep of his own home was jailed for 13 years this afternoon (Friday).

Stuart Parkinson, who has no previous convictions for violence, claimed he had acted in self-defence but a court heard that he had earlier threatened to “sort him out” and a witness saw him launching the attack.

The victim, Clifford Acton, 54, suffered three puncture wounds to his back, one just missing his left kidney, and two slash wounds to his head, one of which contained plastic from the screwdriver.

Judge Denis Watson, QC, praised passer-by Paul Turner, who intervened to bring the attack to an end, for his public spirited behaviour and pointed out it was particularly commendable as Mr Turner had lost his own son in a knife attack.

“Were it not for his intervention I am entirely satisfied the injuries were likely to have even more serious,” he said. “In every sense of the word he (Mr Acton) was fighting for his life.”

Liverpool Crown Court heard that moments before launching the savage attack Parkinson had left his six-year-old son on his bicycle nearby.

The youngster was heard crying and screaming “dad, dad” as Parkinson attacked his victim.

Parkinson, 37, of Enid Place, Bamfurlong, Wigan, was convicted of wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article. The jury took about an hour to reach their verdicts after a five-day trial.

Henry Riding, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that the incident happened at about 11am on August 4 last year.

Mr Acton had previously telephoned Parkinson asking him to stop spreading rumours about him and his girlfriend. This turned into an argument with Parkinson threatening him and Mr Acton hung up on him.

That morning Mr Acton was watching cricket on his TV at his home in Liverpool Road, Platt Bridge, when he heard someone knocking at the door. He opened it and Parkinson immediately attacked him.

Mr Acton tried to push him away and eventually managed to get him in a headlock after the struggle spilled out into the street. A passer-by intervened and split them up and the victim then realised he had been stabbed in the back and had head wounds.

A woman witness saw the unprovoked attack which she described as “surreal” and “vicious”. She saw Mr Acton bent over trying to protect himself and she called the police.

Parkinson walked off but then returned and threw more punches. A passenger in a works van, Mr Turner, also saw the incident with Parkinson using both hands in which he had a craft knife and screwdriver, said Mr Riding.

Despite having lost his own son six years earlier in a knife attack he went over to help Mr Acton. He twice pushed the attacker away and Parkinson dropped the knife and walked off shouting about the victim, “running his mouth off saying you’re going to do me, well I’ve done you”.

He added: “Look what you’ve made me do in front of my son.”

A passing off-duty police officer was cycling past on his way to work as the incident was concluding and he followed him filming him with his bike camera and he was arrested.

Phil Astbury, defending, said that Parkinson has no similar convictions and has not been in trouble for several years. He appreciated he would receive a lengthy sentence and be away from his son for a significant time.