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Man jailed for throat slash

PUBLISHED: 20:59 21 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:54 03 March 2010

IAN Thompson slashed a stranger's throat with a penknife after he became the target of ridicule in his home town.

Thompson, 40, of Benton Street, Hadleigh, was jailed for nine months after admitting unlawful wounding in January this year.

IAN Thompson slashed a stranger's throat with a penknife after he became the target of ridicule in his home town.

Thompson, 40, of Benton Street, Hadleigh, was jailed for nine months after admitting unlawful wounding in January this year.

He now plans to start a new life abroad "away from the community of Hadleigh who have ridiculed him and marginalised him," Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The victim was drinking with friends at The Ram pub in January this year when Thompson walked in with his dog.

"He [the victim] had not met him before ignored him, said Charles Kellett, prosecuting. Thompson left the pub making a rude sign at the victim.

Thompson returned 20 minutes later and when challenged about the gesture he produced a Swiss Army penknife and slashed the victim across the throat.

The court heard the injuries were not serious. They included a five-inch surface wound across the left-hand side of his throat with half an inch penetrating his skin. The victim also had a cut above and behind his right ear.

"It wasn't a straight forward provoked attack by Thompson," said Lindsey Smith, mitigating. "There was a verbal exchange and some scuffling."

Police were called and Thompson – who earlier had been ejected from the pub – was arrested at his home Benton Street.

The court heard Thompson – who was last year victim of an arson attack on his home – has mental and physical problems and felt victimised. "He was feeling isolated and vulnerable at the time the offence was committed," explained Mr Smith.

"He recalls being angry when he left [the pub] at the way he was being treated by these people." The court heard people had been making rude comments about his dog. He returned because he felt he shouldn't be made to leave.

The court heard Thompson regretted his actions and plans to start a new life on a small holding in France after a couple took him under their wing.

Sentencing Judge John Devaux said: "You are a man with many years of mental and physical problems. You have been the target of ridicule. You are described as isolated and vulnerable. You had been teased or harassed on the day in question."

He said the injury although not serious could have been worse if Thompson, or the victim moved.

Sentencing him to nine months in jail Mr Devaux said: "there is no alternative to violence of this kind committed in public."

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