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Sutton: Two jailed for restaurant attack that left dad fighting for life

Two young men who left a married dad fighting for his life following an unprovoked stabbing at a restaurant have been locked up.

Police were called to Outram Street, in Sutton-in-Ashfield, following the late-night attack in October last year.

One diner, aged in his 30s, suffered a single stab wound to the abdomen and was rushed to hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries to save his life.

It was an unprovoked attack that happened while one of the defendants was celebrating his 18th birthday.

Detectives used CCTV and mobile phone evidence to track down and charge 21-year-old Luke Winkworth and Lewis Crossland, aged 18, in connection with the stabbing.

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They appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Friday (12 May 2023) having entered guilty pleas at a previous hearing.

Winkworth, of North Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, was jailed for seven years and six months after admitting to wounding with intent and possessing a knife in a public place.

Crossland, of Welbeck Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield, was sent to a youth offender’s institution for five years after admitting causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possessing a knife in a public place and possession of a Class B drug, namely cannabis.

Winkworth was also sentenced for a string of unrelated driving offences, including dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance after he was stopped by police on 6 July last year. For these offences, he was banned from driving for five years and nine months.

The restaurant stabbing took place at around 11pm on 29 October 2022.

The court heard the victim and a friend were vaping outside the restaurant, whilst between courses, when they were approached by Crossland and Winkworth.

Words were exchanged when the younger defendant hurled an insult at the two diners.

One replied by saying “Leave it, we’re not looking for trouble” and the two friends went back into the restaurant.

A short time later, Crossland and Winkworth entered the porchway of the restaurant and one of the friends went over to them to reiterate they didn’t want any trouble.

He was then stabbed by the older defendant, Winkworth, who then fled with Crossland and a third person who was not charged with any criminal act.

Detectives used CCTV and mobile phone evidence to connect Crossland and Winkworth with the attack and the pair were subsequently arrested and put before the courts.

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Matt Scott, who oversaw the investigation, said: “This was an utterly shocking and unprovoked attack on a family man who was simply enjoying a meal with a friend.

“Having been approached by Crossland and Winkworth in the street, the victim and his friend commendably went back into the restaurant as they did not wish to engage in any sort of violent disorder.

“Crossland and Winkworth, on the other hand, were clearly looking for trouble and so entered the restaurant, where they subjected the victim to a sickening assault that almost cost him his life.

“The attack meant he spent many weeks in hospital and his wife and children were told he might not survive.

“This has had the most unimaginable impact of the victim and his family, as well as the victim’s friend who witnessed the stabbing.

“Needless to say, I am very pleased to see both Crossland and Winkworth face justice for their actions that night.

“They are exceptionally lucky this was not a murder case and I hope they both reflect hard on their actions.

“I also hope these convictions provide some comfort to the victim and his family, whilst reassuring people that Nottinghamshire Police takes violent crime extremely seriously and will always strive to put offenders before the courts.”

 

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