Teen who downed vodka and took 60 valium tablets before stabbing homeless man jailed

A teenager who downed a bottle of vodka and took 60 valium tablets before stabbing a homeless man has been jailed.

18-year-old Adam Purcell chased victim, Kevin Aitken for 20 minutes before stabbing him in the buttocks, unprovoked.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that "good fortune" saved Mr Aitken from death as the blade narrowly missed major blood vessels.

Purcell, of Epinay Walk, Jarrow, admitted wounding with intent and having a bladed article.

The defendant was sentenced to four years imprisonment in a y0ung offenders institution by Recorder Nicholas Lumley QC, who said: "You were intent on attacking him.

"With what was a fearful knife, you stabbed him twice to the buttocks.

"The court has experience of knife injuries to that part of the body leading to almost immediate death.

"If the wrong blood vessel is cut, there's an immediate and catastrophic loss of blood and the person dies.

"It's a matter of pure good fortune you did not kill that homeless man."

It is believed that Purcell and a youth crossed paths with Mr Aitken outside Haymarket Metro station, Newcastle shortly before 1am on a September evening last year.

Alec Burns, prosecuting said that the victim was chased around the city whilst being shouted at.

Mr Burns said: "Mr Aitken said he was going home, not that he has one.

"On Grainger Street, the defendant followed him and threw something in his face."

Purcell found his victim outside Haymarket Metro Station, Newcastle.

Mr Aitken made numerous attempts to hide from the defendant, first behind two people and secondly inside of a shop that was shut.

As he tried to hide behind another person, Purcell brandished a knife before stabbing Mr Aitken in each buttock.

Police were alerted to the stabbing and Purcell was later found to be in possession of a knife and ammonia.

Mr Burns said: "He was interviewed and said he was homeless. He said he had taken 60 valium and drunk a bottle of vodka and couldn't remember anything. He denied stabbing him."

Steven Reed, defending, said: "He has no recollection of it, he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

"He was homeless and suffering from an a impulsive, chaotic lifestyle and he has learning difficulties, all of which was aggravated by his drug addiction.

"The knife he had, he was carrying for the purposes of self-harm. He has a long history of self-harming.

"He had ammonia because he was addicted to crack cocaine and had it to bake the crack cocaine."

Mr Reed added that Purcell is "psychologically damaged".

He said that he was placed in care but chose to be homeless instead.

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