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A man has been sentenced to eight years in prison following a stabbing in Gillingham.

James Ryan Harry Wall, aged 24 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, 28 September, 2018, after being found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a bladed article in a public place.

At around 11pm on Sunday 13 May 2018 an altercation occurred in the car park of The Red Lion public house in High Street involving a number of men. One man sustained minor facial injuries.

The men then left the scene but a number returned around 15 minutes later when a further altercation occurred. During this incident Wall was seen to produce a knife and stab a 25-year-old local man a number of times in the chest area.

The victim was taken to hospital for treatment to stab wounds to his lower chest, abdomen and left shoulder. He suffered a collapsed lung as a result.

Wall returned to the flat where he had been staying in the town and attempted to clean the knife with bleach. He was arrested the following day.

The weapon used – a kitchen knife with a seven-inch blade – was subsequently located in a carrier bag in a bush near the junction of Addison Close and New Road in Gillingham.

A 26-year-old man, of no fixed abode, was also charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a bladed article but was found not guilty of both offences following the trial.

The prosecution dropped charges of perverting the course of justice and possessing a bladed article against an 18-year-old Ferndown woman during the trial and not guilty verdicts were formally entered.

Detective Constable Gerald Marchant, of Weymouth CID, said: ‘This was a violent attack with a knife that left the victim with very nasty injuries.

‘We will not tolerate the use of knives on the streets of Dorset and will make every effort to ensure those who are responsible for committing such offences are brought to justice.’

Dorset Police says it is committed to reducing knife crime. The force works in conjunction with partners to identify those most at risk and those who present the greatest threat in terms of knife-related crime.

Dorset does not experience the same type of gang-related knife crime involving young people widely reported in other areas of the country, the force says. The average age of a victim of knife crime in Dorset was 33 years in 2016, and over 35 years in 2017. The majority of knife crimes in Dorset also involves a relationship between the victim and suspect – stranger incidents are still rare.

Dorset Police says it aims to understand the scale and impact that knife crime can have on local communities and individuals, including drug users and domestic abuse victims, and ensure that effective procedures are in place to protect them from harm.

Ongoing work to reduce knife crime includes targeting known habitual knife carriers and taking positive and robust action against those committing knife crime. The force also takes part in regular national knife amnesties and officers and staff from the Safer Schools Teams work with schools to educate young people about the dangers of carrying knifes and the tragic consequences that using a knife can lead to.

If you are concerned that anyone is carrying a knife, please report it to the police online by visiting www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online or call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Other support, advice and reporting options are also available:

• KnifeFree provides advice and signposts support services, as well as activities to help young people turn away from knife crime. www.knifefree.co.uk

• Fearless is a service that allows you to pass on information about crime 100 per cent anonymously. This means you don’t have to give us any personal details. www.fearless.org

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