Wallsend thug left man with 'gruesome' gaping wound to chest by slashing him in Tynemouth

William Lindsay, jailed for unlawful wounding in Tynemouth
William Lindsay, jailed for unlawful wounding in Tynemouth -Credit:Northumbria Police

A knifeman left a man with a "gruesome" gaping wound to his chest by slashing him on a popular coastal street.

William Lindsay was behaving in a drunken and aggressive way in Tynemouth, when he came to the attention of Kian Stonebanks and his friends, who were standing outside a pub. Mr Stonebanks, who said he only wanted to calm matters down and Lindsay, ended up coming together and got into a scuffle.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Mr Stonebanks initially thought he had only been punched but when he looked down he had been slashed with a knife to his chest and abdomen. The attack left him with a "horrific" large open wound to his chest which thankfully missed vital organs.

The victim had been out on Front Street, in Tynemouth, on September 16 last year when the attack happened. He was standing with others outside The Priory pub when his attention was drawn to Lindsay, who was standing in the middle of the road next to some cars.

Claire Anderson, prosecuting, said he was shouting and behaving aggressively and appeared intoxicated. The two men walked towards each other and there was a scuffle during which punches were thrown by both of them.

Miss Anderson said: "The defendant lashed out with his hand to the left hand side of his chest. Mr Stonebanks initially thought he had just been punched but he could see his top was damaged and realised he had a substantial wound to the left side of his chest."

A photo of Front Street, Tynemouth, taken in March 2020
Front Street, in Tynemouth -Credit:NCJ Media

Two off-duty nurses provided immediate medical assistance and an ambulance was called. The court was shown what a judge described as a "horrific" gaping slash wound to Mr Stonebanks' chest. It required 18 stitches and he also sustained a second slash wound to his abdomen which needed six stitches.

After the attack, images of the attacker were circulated on social media and Lindsay was identified by a friend of Mr Stonebanks' mother and arrested on September 29.

Referring to a victim impact statement, Miss Anderson said: "He was in a lot of pain as a result and had to take three weeks off work and lost £1,200 in earnings. He didn't want violence, he said he only intended to calm things down."

Lindsay, 43, of Bewicke Road, Willington Quay, Wallsend, who has 18 previous convictions, was originally charged with wounding with intent but prosecutors accepted his guilty plea to the lesser offence of unlawful wounding and having a bladed article. He was jailed for two years, eight months and given a five year restraining order.

Recorder Abdul Iqbal said the injury caused to Mr Stonebanks was "horrific" and added: "The injury to the left side of his chest is a truly gruesome injury. It's a mercy it didn't cause damage to any internal organs."

Passing sentence, he told Lindsay: "The injury you inflicted is a really serious injury. It's a gaping open wound to the left side of the chest.

"The risks created by individuals who carry knives in public and are prepared to use them in the way you did creates a huge risk of serious harm or death to members of the public who are confronted by people who carry knives."

Nick Lane, defending, said: "Mr Lindsay makes no excuse whatsoever for his behaviour. He was under the influence of alcohol when he found himself in Tynemouth.

"He said he had the bladed article because he was wearing a jacket that he had been earlier on that day. He says he was working and it was a Stanley knife." The court heard a witness described it as a folding knife with a four inch blade.

"There was a coming together between Mr Lindsay and a group in the central parking area on Tynemouth Front Street. Punches were thrown and certainly the first punch is not thrown by Mr Lindsay - that's made clear from the CCTV.

"The defendant has a good work ethic, is in employment and has mental health issues."