Sheffield thug branded a danger after stabbing girlfriend

William Laing.

William Laing.

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A VIOLENT thug who stabbed his new girlfriend through the neck, nearly killing her, has been locked up indefinitely to protect the public.

William Laing, aged 38, had only been out of prison for 11 days after serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for wounding a man when he committed the savage attack.

Recorder David Gordon said he presented a ‘serious risk of causing further harm to members of the public’.

He must serve a minimum of six years before he can apply for parole.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Laing, who has 54 convictions for 158 offences, attacked Claire Dearing in the street outside her home in Shoreham Street, Sheffield, where he had been staying.

Miss Dearing got cross when she found drugs in her flat and thought Laing, whom she had only met a few days before, had brought them in.

They argued and during a tussle Laing grabbed her mobile phone and went outside.

She followed and rang the police from a call box on London Road.

Believing Miss Dearing had ‘grassed him up’ Laing ran towards her and attacked her.

She said she felt a blow like a punch then heard a ‘hissing sound’ and realised he had stabbed her in the neck.

Miss Dearing asked Laing to call an ambulance and he pretended to speak into a mobile but never made the call and fled, leaving her.

Gasping for breath she managed to ring 999.

The court heard the knife entered her left lung causing it to collapse and she was rushed to hospital.

Only swift medical intervention saved her life.

In a statement she told the court she does not go out any more, suffered sleepless nights and was on medication.

She said she had a scar on the left side of her neck and on both sides of her chest.

The judge told Laing: “Fortunately both for her and you it avoided major arteries in front of her neck, otherwise you would have faced a more serious charge, even murder.”

Laing, of no fixed address, was found guilty of wounding with intent.

The judge said he had shown no remorse and there was a ‘high’ risk of him reoffending.