Knife-wielding 15-year-old mugger has sentence increased after ‘exceptionally serious’ Sheffield attack

A 15-year-old boy who stabbed a woman five times outside her Sheffield home has today had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attacked the woman on Gibbons Drive in Norton in the early hours of March 18 this year, holding a knife to her throat and demanding her belongings.

The scene in Gibbons Drive, Norton after the attack on March 18 this year.

The scene in Gibbons Drive, Norton after the attack on March 18 this year.

The victim feared for her life and tried to escape, but the youth pursued her and stabbed her five times, causing damage to her lung and piercing her heart.

Today, after a referral by the Solicitor General, the Court of Appeal added a three-year licence extension period to his sentence, making it equivalent to eight years imprisonment.

Commenting on the sentence increase, the Attorney General’s Office said the attack had had a ‘significant, life-long impact on the victim’.

Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, said: “This was an unprovoked attack using a weapon, which has left a long-term physical and psychological impact on the victim.

“I hope that the Court of Appeal’s decision today can bring her some comfort.”

At the time of the original proceedings in August, the boy pleaded guilty to having a bladed article and wounding with intent.

The Crown Prosecution Service, however, rejected the wounding plea and put him on trial for attempted murder.

Ian West, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court how the complainant had seen her self-confidence diminished, and her scarring had very adversely affected her mental state.

"Her whole life has been affected," he said.

Defending, Gordon Stables, said the attack was an ‘impulsive decision’ and that his client was ‘genuinely and honestly remorseful’.

He added that the Youth Justice Service were very keen that the boy received a sentence of less than five years in order for them to maximise the chances of rehabilitation and allow him to remain in a young offenders institute for the full length of his sentence.

The Recorder of Sheffield, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, told the court he believed the boy could be rehabilitated, and reduced his custodial sentence from five-and-a-half years to five years in order to prevent him from being sent to an adult prison when he turned 18.