Organised fight on Stoke-on-Trent Co-op car park ends in man stabbing rival

Police have welcomed the 10-year prison sentence handed to a a one-man crimewave who stabbed a rival in an organised fight outside a supermarket. Monkey dust user Samuel Austin knifed his victim on the car park of The Co-op, in Keelings Road, Northwood.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that during the attack, which lasted 'two or three rounds', the victim received stab wounds to his arm and leg but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Another outburst of violence saw Austin attack a man at an address in Wade Street, Burslem, punching him and then hitting him with a wrench following an argument over a bicycle.

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The victim was taken to hospital after suffering concussion, two fractures to his face, a hole in his retina and a cut to his arm. Following the attack on June 28 last year, Austin left the property with the victim’s bag, which contained jewellery, £60 cash and other belongings.

Other offences involved him dealing monkey dust and breaking into a garage, on Ford Green Road, in Norton.

Austin, 28, of St Nicholas Avenue, Norton, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of monkey dust; burglary; possessing an offensive weapon, affray; inflicting grievous bodily harm; and robbery.

The court heard the dad-of-three had wanted to join the Parachute Regiment. But he was involved in a car accident and broke his legs a week before he was due to start his training.

Paul Cliff, mitigating, said: "He began to use monkey dust. It had awful consequences for his mental health and his life became increasingly chaotic."

Recorder Robert Smith said the victim of the robbery lives in fear that people will come into his home and attack him.

He told Austin: "You have shown limited insight into your offending. Your behaviour is unpredictable when you misuse drugs. I am required to consider the issue of dangerousness. I am satisfied, just, on balance, that you do not present such a risk. I cannot be satisfied you meet the statutory test to meet the criteria of a dangerous offender."

Recorder Smith added: "Monkey dust is a vile cancer in this city. I have no doubt your use of monkey dust did underpin some of your offending."

Police at the Co-op in Northwood
Samuel Austin pictured arriving at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court in 2021.

On sentencing, Detective Constable Emma Blackband, from CID North, said: “We welcome this custodial sentence. Austin is a prolific offender with a desire to follow a path of criminality.

“Today he has also been sentenced for a number of other unrelated matters, including burglary and being concerned in the supply of a class B drug. We have made the streets a safer place, removing an individual intent on breaking the law and doing physical harm to others.”

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