VIDEO: Moment stranger was repeatedly stabbed in Plymouth street
This is the moment James Atkinson launched a frenzied knife attack on a complete stranger leaving him on the ground clutching his protruding intestines.
CCTV clearly shows Atkinson repeatedly stabbing his victim, 66-year-old Geoffrey Franklin, having followed him through Peverell.
Yesterday a jury at Plymouth Crown Court unanimously found Atkinson guilty of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
During the course of the trial the jury panel watched the CCTV footage and had seen the “carving knife” that was used in the attack on July 23, 2011.
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The brutal assault took place at Sewell Court flats in Langhill Road at approximately 10.30pm.
Atkinson, of Langhill Road, Peverell, did not give evidence in his defence and barrister Robert Linford said his client claimed he was at home all day apart from a few minutes when he went to buy a newspaper at his local shop.
The CCTV video showed the defendant following Mr Franklin as he walked through Peverell. His pace increases as he draws closer to Mr Franklin before suddenly stabbing him six times with a kitchen knife.
Judge Paul Darlow told the jury in summing up: “There was no one else in that street. He [the attacker] was a matter of feet behind Mr Franklin.”
The judge told the jury that Mr Franklin was in such shock he had not realised he had been stabbed until he was in Derriford Hospital.
Two independent witnesses saw the aftermath of the stabbing and identified Atkinson, as he was known to them both, the court heard.
Mr Franklin had been described to the court as “a man of habit” who uses a walking stick and has an artificial eye. On the night he was stabbed, he had been using his regular route home from his friends house – which was described as a less direct but safer, better lit route.
Mr Franklin was stabbed three times in the abdomen and three times to the rest of his body.
He was taken to Derriford Hospital where the court heard he had part of his small intestine removed by surgeons as a result of the stabbing.
He remained in hospital for two weeks before being allowed home.
Police needed to use an ‘enforcer’ battering-ram to get access into Atkinson’s flat before arresting him.
They found the defendant sat in his living room which the court heard was in “total darkness”.
The police also saw a wet kitchen knife on the draining board.
Prosecutor, David Gittins, told the court that Atkinson had a small cut on his hand and blood on his jeans.
The court heard forensic testing did not show Mr Franklin’s blood on Atkinson’s clothes.
He previously pleaded not guilty to two counts: wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and an alternative charge of unlawful wounding.
The 39-year-old, who remains is custody, will be sentenced on December 7 following the outcome of psychiatric tests.
WARNING: Footage may not be appropriate for persons below 18 years of age.