Man jailed for eight years after knife attack in Bury St Edmunds which left victim with permanent scarring

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001

A man who has spent more than half his life in prison has been jailed for eight years for a knife attack at a flat in Bury St Edmunds.

Karl Roberts, 29, slashed a man across the face during an incident at an address in Fir Tree Close on February 25, Ipswich Crown Court heard today.

Jailing him, Mr Recorder Ian Evans told Roberts: “You pose a high risk of harm to the public.”

The court was told that Roberts, of no fixed address, had 36 previous convictions for 129 separate offences, 16 of which involved violence.

The knife attack took place just a month after he had been released from a prison sentence for another assault, said Marcus Croskell, prosecuting.

The victim, David Byrne, was attacked as he tried to leave the flat where Roberts was among a group of friends who had gathered.

Mr Croskell said Mr Byrne had pushed past Roberts, who was blocking his way, causing him to fall onto a sofa and cut his own hand.

Roberts responded by getting to his feet and making slashing movements towards Mr Byrne while holding a knife, resulting in serious injuries to Mr Byrne’s face which had led to permanent scarring, said Mr Croskell.

He added that initially it had been feared the injuries could be life threatening.

In mitigation, Charles Myatt said there was a’“niggling’ background history between Roberts and Mr Byrne but the knife attack had not been premeditated.

He said: “It is clear that on any account Mr Roberts did not go round to that address with any idea that he would become involved in a violent altercation with Mr Byrne.”

He told the court Roberts, who has spent more than half his life in custody, was hoping his time in prison could be used to identify the issues that led to him offending and resorting to violence.

Mr Myatt said: “He is coming to the realisation that there might be something not quite right with him, something psychological.”

Sentencing him, Mr Recorder Evans told Roberts: “You quite deliberately used a knife to slash this man’s face.”

Mr Recorder Evans said Roberts offences of violence appeared to be escalating and, as a result, considered he posed a risk to the public.

Roberts will have to serve at least two thirds of the eight-year sentence in prison before he is eligible to apply to the Parole Board for release.

Roberts will also be subjected to an extended four-year period of licence following the completion of his sentence, which means he could be recalled to prison in the event of committing any further offence during that time.