Grantham court: ‘Joke’ stabbing of teenager goes wrong outside pub

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A teenager was stabbed in the leg as two young men were “larking about” while smoking outside a pub.

Christopher Atter, 18, was stabbed in the leg after his assailants joined him for a smoke outside the Barcode pub in Westgate, Grantham.

Benjamin Garratt, 19, of Lime Grove, Grantham, admitted possessing a knife in a public place and assault by beating. Andrew Grant, 22, of Heathfield Road, Grantham, admitted possessing a knife and inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent.

Prosecuting Jim Clare said victim Mr Atter, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was at the pub on November 30 after 9pm and went outside for a cigarette.

The defendants sat next to him and Garratt took out a lock knife and started messing about with it.

He started waving the blade about in front of Grant. Atter later said that Garratt swung the knife towards his stomach and tore a six-inch tear in his jacket.

He did not want to confront Garratt for fear of being stabbed.

Garratt then passed the knife to Grant who pressed the knife into Mr Atter’s right thigh and then moved it across his leg. Mr Clare quoted Mr Atter saying: “I could feel it inside my leg. It was damp with blood. There was a deep cut in my leg.”

Mr Atter went out of the pub to call 999, but the police saw him and took him to A&E where he was treated for a two-inch laceration and needed six stitches.

Mr Atter was quoted as saying: “At no point did I give him cause to treat me this way. The assault was totally unprovoked. Since the incident I have not been able to sleep properly. I do not feel confident to go out alone. I have decided I want to move and I would feel more comfortable away from the Grantham area.”

Rob Arthur, defending Garratt, said Garratt had known Mr Atter for over a year.

That day Garratt had unwittingly taken the knife home from work where he was using it to cut cables. He went into town that evening where he was due to work later in a bar.

Mr Arthur said: “He accepts he took out the knife to show how sharp it was. This appears to be nothing more than reckless behaviour. Mr Garratt had also got two cut marks across his stomach. They were larking around quite recklessly.”

Mr Clare said Garratt had lost his job as a result of what happened and it had a significant effect on him financially.

Judith Armstrong, representing Grant, said what had happened that night “started as a joke and ended with sad consequences that could not have been imagined or intended. It was as a result of recklessness and by foolish individuals who were being rather playful. These are not the type of people generally involved in any criminal behaviour.”

Garratt and Grant, neither of whom have previous convictions, were committed to Crown Court for sentencing as the bench said it did not have the powers to sentence them for such a serious crime. No date was set. Garratt was given bail on condition that he did not contact Christopher Atter by any means including a third party and did not visit a specific address.

Grant was bailed on the same conditions and also on the condition he does not visit a further address.