A grandad who was tormented with false accusations of being a 'paedophile' has been jailed for life after stabbing accuser outside of a supermarket.
Mark Pearson, 47, flew into a fit of rage when he was branded a 'paedophile' by Michael Inwood, stabbing him numerous times with a lock knife as horrified shoppers watched on.
Despite Pearson denying trying to kill Mr Inwood, a jury found that he was guilty of attempted murder and the possession of an offensive weapon.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Pearson had had enough of abuse he received from Mr Inwood, who repeatedly branded Pearson a "nonce" and a "paedophile" for over two years.
The court also heard how Mr Inwood had sustained "life-changing" injuries after being stabbed eight times- including horrific wounds to the neck, heart and lungs.
Judge Paul Sloan QC, jailed Pearson for life with a minimum term of 12 years, he said that the stabbing was "totally disproportionate" to the provocation.
It is believed that the pair had clashed on a bus heading towards Spennymoor earlier in the day when Mr Inwood called the defendant a "wrong'un".
This prompted Pearson to follow Mr Inwood, threatening to "slit his throat" along the way.
Despite walking towards his home upon exiting the bus, the defendant turned around and walked towards the Aldi store that he knew Mr Inwood was at.
The pair got into a verbal battle before the defendant launched the horrifying attack with a lock knife.
Pearson later called 999 and claimed that the stabbing was an act of self defence.
The court heard of the extent to which Mr Inwood has been affected by the attack, hearing that his eyesight, mobility and brain have been severely impacted.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Inwood said: "My life is a daily struggle.
"I can't walk in a straight line. I can't dress myself, my father is caring for me. I still have no access to my daughter and it's breaking my heart."
Judge Sloan went on to express his disgust at the attack, he said: Judge Sloan said: "You had the knife with you really to use as a weapon as necessary.
"It was a cowardly attack - holding the knife behind your back to then catch Mr Inwood by surprise.
"The taunts do not begin to justify your subsequent actions. Using the knife you gave up to 10 blows or so, causing eight wounds and leaving him for dead. "The only sentence I can pass is one of life given the possible threat to the public." D