Manchester

Man jailed for life for 'random' stabbing of Wigan girl

Lawrence Wood
Image caption Wood must serve at least 15 years for the crime

A man who "randomly" stabbed a 12-year-old girl in the back in Wigan has been jailed for life.

Lawrence Wood, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to attempted murder following the attack in February.

At Liverpool Crown Court, he was sentenced to life with an order to serve a minimum of 15 years.

Greater Manchester Police Det Con Richard Willoughby said the stabbing had been a "horrifying and random attack on an innocent young girl".

A police spokesman said Wood had approached the girl at random as she was playing Stranraer Road in Marsh Green, Wigan, on 8 February.

He said he had stabbed her twice in the back and then walked off, before later handing himself in at a police station with the knife in his jacket pocket.

The girl was taken to hospital for treatment to a punctured lung and has since recovered from her injuries.

Mr Willoughby said it was "clearly 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," he said.

"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."

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