26th Jun, 2022

Coventry man jailed after slashing man's face with a Stanley knife when he asked for a cigarette

A COVENTRY man was slashed across the face with a Stanley knife by a cyclist after asking for a cigarette.

Matthew Dudley had been out drinking in the Coventry Cross pub in the city centre on April 5 last year when he stopped to tie his shoelaces in Spon Street at 2am.

When he stood up he saw attacker James Kiteley pushing his bike from the direction of the subway, and asked him if he had a cigarette.

Kiteley then slashed Mr Dudley’s face with a Stanley knife, causing a deep wound to the side of his face and to his lip.

As he then made off on his bike, Mr Dudley and the Jones brothers tried to stop him.

As a result of the attack Mr Dudley had to have a blood transfusion and reconstructive surgery in hospital, and has been left with a permanent scar to his face and a loss of sensation to his mouth.

He also had to miss a contact session with his younger daughter because he did not want her to see him with stitches in his face, and he is very self conscious about the noticeable injury.

While Mr Dudley and his friends tried to stop him, passers-by intervened to stop them in the mistaken belief that they were the aggressors, a judge heard.

Kiteley was traced through DNA on his hat which came off in the struggle, and at Warwick Crown Court he pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.

Because of his record for violence, the 42-year-old of Lentons Lane, Aldermans Green, Coventry, was given an extended sentence, with a prison term of six years and eight months.

Once released, Kiteley will be on licence for the rest of the prison term – which he must serve two thirds of his sentence – and for a further five years.

Prosecuter Rebecca Wade said: “Mr Dudley says the defendant’s hand came past his face like the wind, and at first he thought he had just brushed him, but one of his friends saw he had been slashed.

“Somewhat unfortunately, passers-by thought the attack was from the complainant and his friends and stopped them, enabling the defendant to cycle away.

“But when he was cycling off, one of the men pulled his hat from him, and DNA from the hat matched the defendant.”

When Kiteley was arrested, the knife and a rucksack shown on a CCTV camera being worn by the attacker were recovered from his home.

Sharon Bahia, defending, said Kiteley had not been silent during his police interview to detract from his guilt, but because he had no recollection of what he had done.

She added: “This defendant has had a problem with alcohol for some time.

“But last year, before this offence, that was exacerbated by using it as a coping mechanism following the death of his father.”

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told Kiteley: “You took out a weapon and you slashed him across his face, causing a very deep wound which was very long.

“You remember nothing of the carriage of a knife out on the street and its use.

“It gives me a real and serious concern that you can remember nothing of this act.

“You present a real and present danger to society.”

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