Durham teenager stabbed victim five times on his birthday in 'revenge attack' after losing fight

Taylor Bentham has been handed a sentence of 12 years and three months
Taylor Bentham has been handed a sentence of 12 years and three months -Credit:Durham Constabulary

A teenager stabbed a man five times with two large kitchen knives during a "revenge attack".

Taylor Bentham told the victim 'watch what f***ing happens to you' after coming off second best in a fight with him. The 19-year-old picked up his dog and two knives before returning to the scene in Durham.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how he ordered his Mastiff type dog to attack the 29-year-old male before sitting on top of him and stabbing him in the upper and lower abdomen, left thigh and buttock.

The victim was left so seriously injured that part of his bowel was exposed outside of his body. He had to have a blood transfusion at the scene before being rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

He has now been left scarred for life and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Bentham, of Cuthbert Avenue, Durham, was found not guilty of attempted murder following a trial in October last year. He admitted wounding with intent, being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control and two counts of having an offensive weapon.

Paul Rooney, prosecuting, told the court how the victim had been returning home from the Rose Tree pub in Durham with his girlfriend and another woman while celebrating his birthday on April 7 last year.

When a motorbike rider appeared to break down near them, he went to see if he could help. The rider pulled back his balaclava and the victim recognised him as Bentham - someone who had sent text messages to his girlfriend.

Mr Rooney said: "The defendant and (the victim) decide to have a fight. (The victim) gets the better of the defendant. (The victim) offered to shake the hand of the defendant. He refused and said 'Watch what happens to you!' He tried to run (the victim) over and then shouted at him 'Watch what f***ing happens to you!'"

He said Bentham went to his grandmother's home and took knives out of the kitchen. He then left with his dog and returned back to where he left the victim. Bentham was holding two large knives, one in each hand and the victim's girlfriend shouted 'He's got a knife'.

The prosecutor said: "The defendant told the dog to attack (the victim). (The victim) tried to run away. The dog bit him on the shoulder, dragging him to the ground. He tried to get the dog off by punching it and he ran around a Volkswagen van parked nearby. The dog pursued him. He saw the defendant getting closer, holding two large kitchen knives."

The court in Newcastle heard how Bentham stabbed the victim to the left leg and sat on top of him as he tried to fight him. He then stabbed him to the upper and lower abdomen as well as the buttock.

The victim's girlfriend called an ambulance and shouted for passers-by to help. A man stopped to provide first aid before paramedics and a doctor from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (NAAS) arrived at the scene.

His blood pressure dropped and he had to be given three units of blood at the scene. He was then transported to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle for emergency surgery.

The court heard one of the wounds in his abdomen was 1cm away from a major blood vessel being cut and could have been fatal. If a doctor from the GNAAS had not attended the scene, to sign off a blood transfusion, the victim would have lost consciousness and suffered a cardiac arrest.

Mr Rooney said: "The attack with the knives was a revenge attack. The defendant, having started a fight with (the victim), came off second best. He was humiliated in front of a woman he was trying to impress."

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by his mother, the man said he used to being an independent and sociable person and that had been taken away from him.

He said he had now been diagnosed with chronic PTSD and pays for £80 therapy sessions to try and get his life back on track. He said: "I feel I will never be the person I once was."

The victim said he was unable to return to work as a groundworker and has feelings of anger about what had happened to him, which has led to a break down in his close relationships. He said he goes to the toilet 15 to 20 times a day and no longer has an appetite.

He added: "I have a 20cm scar on my stomach which is clearly visible. If I have my top off it's a constant reminder of what he did to me. As a young male I find this affects me significantly."

Bentham has one previous conviction from 2022 for possession of an offensive weapon - a knuckleduster.

The court heard how Bentham was deeply affected by the death of his cousin and he was addicted to drugs at the time of the offence. He also had learning difficulties and ADHD.

Mark Styles, defending, told the court that it is hoped there can be some long-term rehabilitation for the defendant.

Judge Tim Gittins told Bentham that his "inability to take the humiliation of being bested in a fair fight" started the tragic turn of events. He said: "He was 10 years older than you and had been out celebrating his 29th birthday. What an awful way for it to end.

"I do consider that at this age you are a dangerous offender, under the legislation I have to do that. It's necessary to appropriate an extend the licence period of the sentence you must serve."

The judge sentenced him to 12 years and three months - eight years and three months in a young offender institute and an extended four years on licence. He ordered that the dog should be destroyed and that Bentham should be banned from owning another dog for 20 years.

Judge Gittins also ordered that the man who gave the victim CPR at the scene should be commended and handed a £250 award from public funds for his important, calm and effective first aid in traumatic circumstances, which likely saved his life.