Indefinite custody for knife attacker.
A teenager was put behind bars indefinitely yesterday for stabbing a great-grandmother in the neck.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was said to have committed the offence after his stepfather told him jail was "a good place to be".
He flew into a rage when 79-year-old Auguste Jury would not allow him to have some children's toy building blocks and plunged a knife into her neck.
Despite her suffering serious injuries and being left terrified to leave her home, last night her daughter Rosemarie Hyland forgave the attacker and even offered to arrange a meeting between him and her mother.
Just five days before the attack, the boy had been given a six-month referral order for stabbing his 14-year-old friend.
He had asked the victim: "If I stabbed you to death, would you scream?" before sinking the knife into his thigh. Asked by magistrates whether he regretted stabbing his friend, he said no and said he would do it again.
Then, on November 15 last year, the attacker, who was delivering leaflets door-to-door saying he was on work experience from his school, knocked on Mrs Jury's door.
Newcastle Crown Court heard he asked to use the toilet, which Mrs Jury allowed him to do, and then he spotted the children's blocks on the ground.
When she refused to allow him to have them, he pulled out the knife and plunged it into her neck. Mrs Jury managed to stumble into her flat in the sheltered accommodation at Anfield Court, Kenton, Newcastle, and press the panic button. The knife, which was stuck in her throat, had pierced her windpipe. A warden found her slumped on her sofa covered in blood.
The court heard that the defendant was arrested the following day when he returned to the scene of the stabbing. He later told a police doctor: "I'm going to murder her. When I had heard the news, I couldn't believe that she was not dead."
Tony Glover, prosecuting, told the court the 15-year-old boasted to friends about having stabbed Mrs Jury.
He claimed at first he was trying to clear his name, realising the police would think he was a suspect. But he later admitted the assault and was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of GBH with intent.
The boy later said: "Social workers are no good for me. They have not done anything for me. Custody is the only thing for me."
Experts said he suffered from a sociopathic personality disorder linked to autism.
Peter Schofield, defending, said the teenager believed prison was a good place to be. He added: "It is a bizarre, unusual, perhaps unique circumstance."
Judge David Hodson sentenced the youth to indefinite imprisonment for public protection and recommended he serve at least two years seven months before being considered for parole.
He told him: "It is the greatest of good fortune for her and for you that this was not a fatal injury and you could have so easily been facing a charge of murder. Fortunately, she has made a very good recovery from the physical injuries but you have heard of the consequences of what you have done to her. She won't go out of the house on her own, she won't speak to anyone unless they have made an appointment. You have, in fact, ruined her life."