Violent knifeman jailed for stabbing at pub

Lee Hamilton
Lee Hamilton

A dangerous knifeman has been jailed for 10 years for stabbing a man at a Scarborough pub.

Lee Hamilton, 28, plunged a four-inch kitchen knife into his victim's stomach outside the West Riding pub on Castle Road.

The victim, 26, was stabbed twice more to his arm and shoulder.

He suffered a serious stab wound to the stomach which required exploratory surgery and 33 staples to stem the bleeding. His injuries have left him with serious ongoing health issues including black-outs and kidney problems, York Crown Court heard.

Judge Paul Batty QC said Hamilton was a danger to the public because of previous knife crimes and told the grim-faced defendant he was “lucky” not to be facing a murder charge.

Prosecutor Felicity Hemlin said that the victim, who worked as a doorman but was not on duty at the time, was helping staff eject Hamilton from the pub when the crazed knifeman “ran amok” with the blade.

He was bleeding heavily from the stomach and suffered superficial cuts to his arm. He had surgery at Scarborough Hospital but, four months on from the attack, he was still undergoing tests and may have suffered permanent kidney damage.

Ms Hemlin said he hadn’t been able to work since the attack, resulting in “significant” loss of earnings.

Hamilton, of Pavilion Square, was arrested at the scene and charged with wounding with intent and possessing a bladed article. He admitted the offences and appeared for sentence via video link on Friday after being remanded in Hull Prison.

Barrister Ms Hemlin said the attack happened at about 7pm on January 21. The victim had left the pub earlier in the evening and went to the block of flats where Hamilton lived.

When he reached the front entrance, Hamilton, who was “worked up and aggressive” following a row with his partner, climbed out of a living-room window and asked the victim if he knew where his partner was.

The victim, who was threatened with violence, hurried back to the pub to warn others, but Hamilton arrived about half an hour later when he “flipped” and started hurling abuse at the victim and his friends.

Two men, including the victim escorted Hamilton off the premises as the enraged defendant put up a ferocious struggle and threw punches, forcing the pair to take him to ground. During the melee, Hamilton jabbed the victim to the stomach, arm and shoulder.

The victim’s brother and another man wrestled the knife from Hamilton after hearing cries for help. A passing police car was flagged down and Hamilton was arrested.

Ms Hemlin said Mr the victim had continued to suffer from the physical and emotional effects of the attack, adding: “He has become anxious when out in Scarborough for fear of repercussions or (further) attacks.”

Hamilton, originally from Scotland, had 17 previous convictions for 31 offences including battery, robbery and threatening behaviour. He had received prison sentences in the past for knife crimes on both sides of the border - once for threatening to slit a man’s throat during a street robbery.

Hamilton’s lawyer David Camidge said his client, who moved to Scarborough with his partner to make a “fresh start”, had endured a “desperate” upbringing which led to alcohol abuse and a cycle of offending.

A probation report said Hamilton was a “high risk” to the public and that the threat of repeated knife crime was “significant”.

Judge Mr Batty QC told Hamilton: “You are extremely fortunate that (the victim) survived and that you are not standing in the dock facing a charge of murder.

“It has been a life-changing experience for him. The prognosis is uncertain and the doctors are having to wait to see if there is permanent damage to his kidneys.

“I have to impose upon you a sentence which will protect the public from a serious risk of harm. Those who carry knives in public places and use them as you did, when you were full of drink, can expect - and will receive - significant, deterrent sentences in this court.”

Taking the dangerousness factor into account, Mr Batty added a four-year extension to Hamilton’s 10-year sentence. This means Hamilton will remain on prison licence and under supervision for the extended period following his release from jail.

Hamilton remained stony-faced and showed not a flicker of emotion as he was led down to the cells by prison guards.