Man jailed for stabbing best friend - Luton

31/10/2013

A man stabbed his best friend in the head, leaving the knife embedded in his skull close to his eye. The victim, Antonio Molinari, managed to pull the knife free before calling the police.

Today, Thursday, 31 October 2013, Luton Crown Court heard that his attacker, Jack Rudling, aged 20, carried out the attack after years of smoking cannabis.

The attack took place outside Mr Rudling's flat in Hoddesdon, Herts, in a corridor, and the court heard such was the state he was in that he jumped out of the window of his flat, which was two floors up.

Today Rudling pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent on Mr Molinari on the evening of 01 June.  He also admitted possessing 8.37grams of cannabis found on him after his arrest.

Judge Richard Foster jailed him for a total of seven years.  He told Rudling he was satisfied that he posed a significant risk to the public by committing further offences and, for that reason, he would be subject to an extended sentence.  The judge said that Rudling will have to serve two thirds of the seven year jail term behind bars and then be subject to a licence period of five years.

Miss Beverley Cripps, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)) told how that day Rudling, who has been smoking cannabis since the age of 13, invited Mr Molinari and another man to his flat in Paddick Road, Hoddesdon to watch DVDs.

She told the court that both his visitors noticed him behaving "oddly" and, for some time, Mr Molinari had been concerned about the state of his friend's mental health.  Rudling was pacing around his flat muttering "Why are they doing this to me?" and Miss Cripps said that both men tried to calm him down.  But, the court heard, after Rudling disappeared into his kitchen, he emerged moments later carrying two large knives in a threatening manner.  Both his visitors made a dash for the door but, in his haste to get away, Mr Molinari tripped and fell in the corridor outside and then, as he ran towards a stairwell, found himself being pursued by Rudling.

Judge Foster was told that the defendant was swinging the knives wildly at his friend.

"He (Mr Molinari) thought his friend wanted to kill him"  said Miss Cripps.  She told the court that Mr Molinari, as he sought to defend himself, became aware that he had been stabbed in the head close to his eye.

She went on "He recalls that he had to pull a knife from his right eye socket."

Miss Cripps added "He thought he was going to die."

The court was told that other people from flats nearby managed to help Mr Molinari until the emergency services arrived on the scene.

The prosecutor said he had been stabbed close to his right eye, to the left side of his head and he had defence wounds to his hands and fingers.  She told the court that since the attack, he had been unable to work for some time and, as a result, lost a scaffolding job he was due to do.  He was also unable to play football and became depressed.  For a while, the court heard, he had lost all feeling in the right side of his face above his mouth and had suffered scarring from the stitches to the wounds in his face and hands.

Miss Cripps said that some of the attack had been caught on CCTV and she described it as a sustained and determined attack on Mr Molinari.

The court heard Rudling had previous convictions going back to 2008, which included offences of violence, shoplifting, resisting arrest, burglary and possessing cannabis.

The court heard that the attack had lasted no more than 30 seconds and the defendant now accepted full responsibility, although he could remember very little of it.

Judge Foster was told that the defendant himself had suffered serious injuries to his hands because he had been holding the knives by the blades.

Passing sentence, Judge Foster told the defendant: "This case is a stark reminder of the evil effects of drugs."

The judge said there was no doubt that the defendant's pattern of substance abuse had caused him mental harm.

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