Tees

Spurned Tony Griffin attacked woman he met on dating site

Teesside Crown Court
Image caption Teesside Crown Court heard Griffin tried to lure the woman into a hut and then secluded woods

A severely autistic man who met a woman on an internet dating site slashed her face, neck and chest after she told him they should just be friends.

Tony Griffin, 20, of Eston, Middlesbrough, will be detained indefinitely in hospital.

He admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possessing a bladed article.

Teesside Crown Court heard his condition "makes it difficult, if not impossible" to manage a relationship.

Griffin had previously denied attempted murder and the court instead accepted his admission of guilt to the alternative charge of wounding with intent.

He met his 20-year-old victim through the Oasis site in March and they had sex after meeting for a second time, the court heard.

It was Griffin's first sexual experience.

The woman later told him they should just be friends, the court was told.

'Innocent young woman'

The pair had agreed to meet for a walk along an old railway line footpath in Normanby and the court heard Griffin tried to lure her into a hut and then secluded woods.

Nick Dry, prosecuting, said he slashed her face, neck and chest with a kitchen knife.

A dog walker went to help after hearing her calls and her injuries were described as largely superficial.

Griffin had a previous conviction for harassing and threatening to kill a girl who had gone to his school, whom he claimed had been a bully.

Psychiatrist Dr Helen Pearce told the court jail was not the right environment for him.

Michael Bosomworth, defending, said "When told [the relationship] was over, his brain could not compute what that means."

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, said: "You carried out a brutal, unprovoked, prolonged and indeed vicious attack upon an entirely innocent young woman."

Griffin will not be discharged until doctors conclude it is safe for the public.

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