England: Defend a Loved One, Go to Jail

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Teenager jailed for knife attack

A TEENAGER who slit the throat of his mother’s violent lover was today starting a two-and-a-half year prison sentence.

One of Alex Court’s jugular veins was cut when 18-year-old Benjamin Gunton sliced open his neck with a knife.

He had turned on Mr Court, 37, who had numerous convictions for violence, after seeing him attack his mother, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Gunton, of Chestnut Court, Norwich, was sent to a young offenders’ institutions for 30 months after admitting causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Passing sentence, recorder Alistair Wilson, QC, said: “The cut to his throat could well have killed him.

“It opened one of his jugular veins, but fortunately he survived. It is obvious this was as serious an assault as one can possibly imagine.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Seely said at the time Gunton, his four siblings, his mother Sheryl Barber and Mr Court were living in three rooms at the Sandcastle Hotel in Great Yarmouth.

On February 2 Gunton, who had been drinking for most of the day, was told by other residents that Mr Court was attacking his mother in their room.

When Gunton went into the room, Mr Court was hitting his mother across the face and had her pinned her on the bed.

Mr Court then moved towards him and Gunton said he feared he was about to be attacked too, so he used a knife to inflict a 10cm cut to Mr Court’s neck.

Mr Court lost a lot of blood at the scene and was taken to the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.

He underwent an operation on his severed external jugular vein and his wounds were stitched and stapled. He was in hospital for three days.

Luke Brown, for Gunton, said he has a difficult family background and had witnessed his mother being abused by previous partners.

He added Mr Court had numerous previous convictions for violence and was acting aggressively when he was attacked.

The court was told Gunton’s previous offending involved dishonesty in order to feed a £60 a week heroin habit he had when he was young, but he had since weaned himself off drugs.

OK, ONE comment: This is JUSTICE?

UPDATE:  As of August 6, 2013, due to the herculean efforts of reader John Hardin, the original JS-Kit/Echo comment thread for this post (read-only) is available here.

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