A man has been jailed for a minimum of 11 years for stabbing a stranger eight times in the head and neck in a ‘frenzied’ random attack as she walked home from the shops.
Manchester Crown Court heard that the victim was walking along Mayfield Road in Manchester at around 10am on December 14th when she had the “misfortune” of crossing paths with Genesis Edwards.
A 33-year-old paranoid schizophrenic with a history of convictions for violence, Edwards had been looking for a woman to attack when he rode up to the woman from behind and used his bicycle to pin her to a wall, a judge told the jury.
After pulling out a knife, the assailant began stabbing his victim in the head and neck in a “frenzied” attack, not stopping until he cut his own wrist amidst her attempts to fight him off, the court heard.
He then walked away from the scene while the woman fled home before collapsing, prosecutors said, reporting she suffered a 1.5-inch deep wound, bleeding on the brain, and a fractured skull as well as facial scars which serve as a “constant reminder” of the violent assault.
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Edwards was identified from DNA evidence and CCTV footage and then arrested three days after the attack. During the process, the defendant attacked a policeman, whom he left with multiple fractures around the eyes.
Addressing Edwards, Judge Richard Mansell QC said: “This was a premeditated offence, in which you targeted a lone and vulnerable female, in a public place in broad daylight.”
Sentencing him to a minimum of 11 years and 212 days after the jury found him guilty of attempted murder and assault, the judge requested that Edwards was sent to a secure hospital.
The court heard that the Manchester resident has previous convictions for crimes including robbery and assault and that persistent drug use had worsened the conditions of his mental illness.
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Edwards had previously informed doctors about his hearing voices telling him to stab people including members of his own family, and been given an ASBO (Anto-Social Behaviour Order) barring him from carrying weapons in public and using them to threaten people.
However, he had previously “misled” doctors over the condition of his mental health by presenting as “apparently stable while concealing active symptoms of psychosis”, Mansell said.
“This propensity to possess and threaten people with weapons, specifically knives, has been present for a long time now,” the judge added.
Detective Constable Louise Moss from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: “This was a sickening unprovoked attack on a woman as she was simply walking home from the local shop.
“This is everyone’s worst nightmare and although she has recovered from her injuries this shocking attack will never leave her,” she said.