Granddad called ‘nonce’ jailed for life after stabbing tormentor outside Aldi

A granddad has been jailed for life after stabbing a man who kept calling him a "nonce" outside an Aldi.

Mark Pearson, 47, was found guilty of attempted murder after unleashing the "frenzied" attack on Michael Inwood in front of horrified shoppers.

He furiously stabbed his victim eight times including in the neck, heart and lung with a lock knife in Spennymoor, Co Durham, on September 9 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mr Inwood suffered "life-changing" injuries after repeatedly calling Perason a "nonce" and a "paedophile" for two years.

Pearson, of no fixed abode, denied trying to kill Mr Inwood, but a jury convicted him of attempted murder and being in possession of an offensive weapon at trial.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said that the stabbing was "totally disproportionate" to the provocation and jailed Pearson for life with a minimum term of 12 years, ChronicleLive reports.

He said: "You had the knife with you really to use as a weapon as necessary.

"It was a cowardly attack – holding the knife behind your back to then catch Mr Inwood by surprise.

"The taunts do not begin to justify your subsequent actions. Using the knife you gave up to 10 blows or so, causing eight wounds and leaving him for dead.

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"The only sentence I can pass is one of life given the possible threat to the public."

The court heard Pearson had been deemed a violent but not a sex offender under Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

The pair had initially clashed earlier that day on the top deck of a bus heading towards Spennymoor when Mr Inwood called the defendant a "wrong 'un".

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They confronted each other outside the busy supermarket with Pearson slashing his victim "up to 10 times" with a lockknife he hid behind his back.

Pearson fled the scene and called 999 after stashing the lock knife in a bag of flour in his kitchen cupboard, claiming he acted in self defence.

The court heard how Mr Inwood had suffered a brain injury with his speech, eyesight and mobility being severely impacted by the attack.

His victim impact statement said: "My life is a daily struggle. I can't walk in a straight line. I can't dress myself, my father is caring for me. I still have no access to my daughter and it is breaking my heart."

Tony Davis, defending, said the attack arose as a result of two years of "utter frustration" that had "boiled over".

Pearson, of no fixed abode, has a long list of previous convictions for violence, including in 1996 when he was jailed for eight years for attacking three police officers with a knife.

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