Stab sentencing slammed by victim's mum

A JUDGE was today criticised by the mother of an Ipswich stabbing victim whose attacker walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

A JUDGE was today criticised by the mother of an Ipswich stabbing victim whose attacker walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

Rory Bantock, 27, sliced Laine Pond down his neck, seriously injuring him outside the Caribbean Club in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, on December 23 last year.

Mr Pond underwent emergency surgery after one of the arteries in his neck was damaged.

Bantock, who admitted the attack, was warned by Judge David Goodin during a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court last month that the offence was so serious he would “almost inevitably” go to jail.

However, at Bantock's sentencing Judge Goodin opted not to jail him after hearing that he had been subjected to “a degree of provocation”.

Instead he was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and a two-year supervision order and was given a six month curfew.

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The decision has been blasted by Mr Pond's mother, Donna Pond, who said the sentence is far too lenient.

Mrs Pond said: “My son nearly died and doctors battled for three-and-a-half hours to save him.

“My son has waited a whole year for justice and feels like he has just walked away.

“Something doesn't seem right.

“You can't send the message out that it's okay to almost take somebody's life.”

During the sentencing Ipswich Crown Court heard that Bantock had been enjoying an evening out with his girlfriend who was Mr Pond's ex-girlfriend, when the incident happened.

The court heard that Mr Pond had found it difficult to come to terms with his relationship break-up and started staring at Bantock at an event inside the club.

Anthony Abell, mitigating for Bantock, of Bury Lane, Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds, said his client was “goaded and provoked” by Mr Pond who he said had a “reputation for violence” and had been violent to his partner when they were a couple.

Mr Abell said Mr Pond left the club and Bantock followed him outside.

“Mr Bantock was passed that lock knife by somebody who warned him Mr Pond had a bottle,” added Mr Abell.

“He was confronted by Mr Pond holding this item.”

Mr Abell said if Mr Pond's injuries had not been so serious he too would have been arrested for his behaviour.

He added that Bantock was afraid of prison because he had been threatened by Mr Pond that he had friends inside who would inflict violence upon him.

Judge David Goodin said: “People who take a knife to another and slice down the neck of others are bound to go to prison but you were subjected to a degree of provocation.”

As well as the suspended sentence and supervision order, Bantock was told he would undergo aggression replacement training and was curfewed for six months.

What do you think of this sentence? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail