Man jailed for stabbing business partner - Luton

11/02/2013

A Bedford man appeared at Luton Crown Court today, Monday, 11 February 2013, and has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for inflicting life changing injuries on his would-be business partner.

Barry Bell, 47, of Lindisfarne Priory, Bedford, had been in the car financing business for many years. He had been introduced by mutual acquaintances to Gary Brown of Buntingford in Hertfordshire and the two became friends, eventually agreeing to go into business together.

But by April of 2012, before the business had even started, Bell owed £40,000 to Mr Brown and made up a string of excuses about why the money hadnt been paid. It included £15,000, which Mr Brown had given to Bell to buy a car for his wife, but the car never materialised and Mr Brown asked for his money back.

Bell agreed to go with Mr Brown, 53, to the bank in Bedford town centre on 17 May 2012, to sort the matter out once and for all. They met in Bedford and Bell got into Mr Brown's car and they drove to the Broadway car park.

Once at the Broadway, Bell got into the back of the car, apparently getting change for the car park ticket, but totally without warning he produced a knife and stabbed the unsuspecting Mr Brown in the neck from behind while he sat in the driver's seat. Bell then climbed on top of Mr Brown via the driver's door and continued to attack him.  In total Mr Brown suffered six knife wounds in the chest and neck, and was also hit three times around the head with an iron, which Bell had also brought with him.

Bell was found guilty at Luton Crown Court last year of causing Mr Brown grievous bodily harm with intent, although he was found not guilty of attempted murder.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS said: "We have worked closely with Bedfordshire police since this investigation was launched.  This case involved a planned and premeditated attack on Gary Brown. Mr Brown was repeatedly stabbed by his business associate Barry Bell who owed him money.  The attack was motivated purely by financial greed.

"Barry Bell was charged with attempted murder.  However, a jury found him guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, despite his denials.  We accept the decision of the jury.

"The CPS takes all allegations of violence seriously and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders.

"I hope that the conviction and sentence gives some sense of justice to Mr Brown, so he can put this unpleasant episode behind him with the knowledge that the person who subjected him to this terrible ordeal has been brought to justice.  Our thoughts are very much with him at this time."

"This was an absolutely unprovoked attack and all the more frightening for it," said Detective Sergeant Graham McMillan, of the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit.

"Mr Brown had no reason at all to suspect anything like this was going to happen; the men had been friends for two years and Mr Brown had no chance to defend himself.

"Bell had run out of money to pay back the people he owed, which included Mr Brown, and the visit to the bank that day was about to uncover the whole mess. Bell has never explained why he thought that attacking Mr Brown was going to help the situation, preferring instead to add insult to injury by claiming that Mr Brown had brought the knife to the meeting and was the aggressor," said Detective Sergeant McMillan.

"His injuries left him needing a blood transfusion and its only thanks to the skill of the surgeons who were able to operate and stop the bleeding that Mr Brown is still alive. He's been left with permanent nerve damage and is obviously still out of pocket by a huge amount of money.

"It is another demonstration, if one was needed, that carrying a knife will lead to trouble. In this case it has led to life-changing injuries. Unfortunately, at the MCU, we frequently see the results of knife-related crime and it generally ends up ruining people's lives, whatever their intention might have originally been in carrying a knife," he said.