Man given extended sentence for attempted murder - St Albans

06/10/2017

A man appeared at St Albans Crown Court today, Friday, 6 October 2017, and was given an extended sentence of 22 years for the attempted murder of a man in St Albans last September.

Craig Sutherland, aged 40, of Townsend Avenue, St Albans, was sentenced today after being found guilty of attempted murder at the same court, on Thursday, 6 July 2017, by a jury, following a three week trial. The custody element of the extended sentence is 17 years with an extended period on licence, following release, of five years.

Robbie Weber, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the attempted murder of a 45-year-old man, in St Albans last September.

"During the evening of Monday, 12 September 2016, after drinking all afternoon, the victim, now aged 46, went to Craig Sutherland's flat in Townsend Avenue, St Albans where they continued to drink together. At about 11pm, after an argument, Sutherland repeatedly stabbed the victim, with a kitchen knife, to his back, neck, head, hands and sides. His bowel, stomach and diaphragm were all perforated and his jaw fractured. Angry that, after being stabbed, the victim locked him out of his flat resulting in him breaking back in, Sutherland further assaulted and threatened the victim until just after midnight when a neighbour contacted the police. There was then a lengthy standoff with the police until Sutherland was arrested and the victim was able to receive medical treatment. His injuries were so severe that he was not expected to survive.

"Sutherland answered 'no comment' to questions during his police interview. He later claimed that the victim had refused to leave his flat and had locked him out and that after breaking back in he was attacked by the victim who was armed with a knife. He further claimed that a third, unnamed, individual had entered the flat and stabbed the victim, causing all the life threatening injuries, and then fled the scene before the police arrived. However, on 6 July 2017, at St Albans Crown Court, after a three week trial, the jury found him guilty of attempted murder despite his denials.

"We have worked closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved. The CPS and police are committed to protecting the public from violent criminals and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders. Today's sentence should act as a deterrent to others that violence will simply not be tolerated in our communities.

"We know that nothing can undo what happened to the victim, but we hope that the conviction and today's sentence bring him at least a small sense that justice has been done. We also hope that the victim, who has shown great courage throughout this process, continues with his recovery. Our thoughts are very much with him at this time."

Detective Inspector Pushpa Guild from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "When officers arrived at Sutherland's flat he was threatening to cause further harm to his victim and it was only the quick actions of officers and paramedics that saved his life.

"Today, the victim continues to recover from the significant injuries he suffered at the hands of Sutherland.

"This lengthy sentence reflects the violent and sustained attack that was carried out by Sutherland."