South East Wales

Gareth French, of Aberdare, jailed for randomly stabbing teen

Gareth French
Image caption French called the emergency services saying he may have killed someone

A south Wales man has been jailed for 12 years for randomly stabbing a youth after being confronted by the father of a young girl he was abusing.

Gareth French, 47, of Aberdare, ran from his home and stabbed the 17-year-old three times with a bread knife, Merthyr Crown Court heard.

The boy, who was left scarred, was just passing by and a total stranger.

French admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and sexual activity with a child.

The court heard the girl, 12, was repeatedly sexually abused by French when she went to see his pets.

The attack happened in February after she told her grandmother what was happening, the jury was told.

She had previously been too frightened to say anything because French had threatened to kill her or harm her family, said prosecutor John Ryan.

After the girl's father confronted French in his home, French took a bread knife and ran out into the street, Mr Ryan said.

'Random street attack'

The court heard French had never before met the boy, who was a stranger visiting relatives in the area, and saw him by chance in the street.

"He stabbed him in a random street attack," said Mr Ryan.

Despite being stabbed in the stomach the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was able to call the emergency services for help, the court heard.

French ran off after the attack but made a call to the emergency services saying he thought he might have killed someone.

When he was arrested he asked the officer: "Is he dead? I stabbed him three times."

The court heard the schoolboy was "deeply affected" by the attack, both emotionally and physically.

Jane Rowley, defending, said it had been a spontaneous attack on a stranger with no background history or hostility.

She said: "He did not arm himself with the intention of going out to do it".

French also admitted causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Judge John Curran ordered French to sign the sex offenders register for life and disqualified him from working with children.