Sussex

Connah Smith guilty of Brighton nurses attempted murder

Connah Smith
Image caption Connah Smith had denied two counts of attempted murder and will be sentenced on Tuesday

A man has been found guilty of attempting to murder two trainee nurses who were stabbed, doused with petrol and almost set on fire in Brighton.

Connah Smith, 20, from Brighton, asked the two women how they wanted to die.

Gabby Price and Megan Parson were held in their home in the city for more than seven hours in March and stabbed repeatedly in the head, neck and body.

Smith, of Vernon Terrace, who denied the charges at Lewes Crown Court, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Jurors had heard how he covered both women in petrol and threw lit matches at them, but failed to set them alight, during their ordeal in Dean Street on 29 and 30 March.

He had previously admitted two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of threatening to kill and two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

'Horror movie'

The women, who were aged 20 and 21 at the time of the attack, were treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for stab wounds.

Sussex Police said Ms Price was known to Smith, who had prepared a rucksack containing a hammer, knives, an imitation firearm, a can of petrol, matches and sticky tape.

The two women were asked how they wanted to die before being stabbed, and were constantly told by Smith that they were going to be killed.

Officers said they were also held down under water in the bath.

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Police said Megan Parson (left) and Gabby Price (right) ran out of the house and flagged down a police car

The women only managed to get away when one claimed she had suffered a miscarriage.

Det Insp Mick Jones said their horrendous ordeal had been "like something out of a horror movie".

"The jury heard how Smith had planned this attack over a number of weeks leading up to the offence.

"He had researched how to get away with murder as well as forensic matters and serial killers on his home computer," he said.

In a statement issued by the victims after the verdict, they said: "Connah Smith is an extremely dangerous man and we are pleased that his conviction means that he is unlikely to be able to hurt someone else for the foreseeable future."

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