Cumbria

Scott Topping jailed for leaving knife in victim's face

Scott Topping Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Scott Topping was previously jailed in 2004 for stabbing three man

A "very dangerous" attacker who left a man with a knife embedded in his skull has been handed a life sentence for attempted murder.

Scott Topping launched the attack outside a pub in Wigton, Cumbria, in April.

The 39-year-old, of Mulligans Court, Wigton, had denied attempted murder but was found guilty by a jury at Carlisle Crown Court.

Judge James Adkin sentenced Topping to life with a minimum term of 10 years.

Topping had taken cocaine, thrown a punch at another male and was heard vowing to stab someone on the night of the attack outside the Throstles Nest pub.

The court heard his victim, Robert Pattinson, was struck a potentially lethal blow, with almost six inches of the blade buried into the bony structure of his skull and the knife tip missing a key artery by millimetres.

The 21-year-old had to be placed in a three-day induced coma, and has been left with facial numbness and tinnitus.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Topping and his victim had been drinking in separate groups in the Throstles Nest

When police came to arrest Topping there was an hour-long stand-off, during which he repeatedly swore and shouted abuse.

During sentencing, it emerged Topping was previously jailed in 2004 for stabbing three men - two in the throat and one through the arm - and, a decade later, for holding a blade to a woman's throat.

Judge James Adkin described Topping as a "very dangerous man indeed".

He told him: "In my view, you present a clear and imminent danger to members of the public who may happen across you when you are drunk or intoxicated.

"It is pure chance this was not a murder case."

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