A terrified dog walker was left for dead on the side of the footpath after being brutally slashed and stabbed by two drugged up thugs – one of whom was six months pregnant.
Jamie Pendleton was thrown into the bushes by the violent criminals, who sat on him, held a knife to his face and stabbed him in the thigh as they wrestled with him for money he had just withdrawn from the Post Office.
The 38-year-old feared for his life as the pair, who were on legal highs, repeatedly slashed his hands as he rolled around on the floor trying to protect his money, during the horrifying daylight robbery on Muir Road, Blacon.
Shocked passers-by discovered Mr Pendleton, from Blacon, shouting “help, help, help” as he lay bleeding heavily on the footpath from his multiple lacerations to his hands and a stab wound following the incident at around 9am on Friday, October 24.
Seven months pregnant Eryl Roberts, from Hough Green, and Thomas Humphreys, of no fixed address, were today (Tuesday, November 25) sentenced to a total of 24 years behind bars after being branded a ‘significant risk’ to the public by Judge Nicholas Woodward.
Roberts, 34, silently laughed and Humphreys, 28, rubbed his chin in seeming confusion, as the pair, who both have substantial criminal records, were each sentenced to an extended prison term of 12 years during a hearing at Chester Crown Court.
The pair were arrested at Roberts’ home a few hours after the brutal attack – when police arrived they were hastily trying to clean the blood from their clothes, and a pair of blood soaked trainers was found in the shower, the court heard.
Police praised the quick actions of two members of the public who found the victim bleeding heavily on the road as the attackers fled, saying they “saved his life” and praised the work of officers for the speedy arrest.
Speaking to The Chronicle following the sentencing Detective Constable Matt Hull, from Chester CID, said: “I think Mr Pendleton is very lucky. There is no doubt in my mind if he hadn't been found by the public we would have been looking at a potential murder."
Mr Pendleton, who was airlifted to Aintree Hospital and needed emergency surgery and a blood transfusion, said he was ‘terrified’ of seeing his attackers and was still struggling to walk due to his extensive injuries.
Meirion Jones, prosecuting, described how the pair followed Mr Pendleton from the Post Office in Western Avenue, who chatted to them as he knew Roberts, but they ambushed him as he reached the more secluded part of the path, after he took the £110 out of his pocket to ‘rearrange’ it.
The pair ‘threw him in the bushes’ and Humphreys held a knife to his face saying “give me the money”, but the victim refused to hand it over, instead pushing it against his body.
“Roberts got hold of the knife, she then stabbed Mr Pendleton in the upper thigh,” he said, adding that the victim was sat on and pinned to the ground during the attack.
“When she withdrew the knife the wound was bleeding constantly. Roberts then said “He’s losing a lot of blood, so he will be getting weak in a minute.”
Then, as their victim clung onto the cash, Humphreys took the knife and started slashing him across the hand, in a bid to loosen his grip – but he rolled onto his stomach and refused to let it go.
“He turned over onto the cash, concealing the money, thinking it might stop them. He then felt the metal on his ear, he felt the knife edge behind his ear,” said Mr Jones.
“He was then sure they would not let him go and feared for his life. He released the grip on the money.”
The pair then fled with the blood-stained cash, and passers-by, who found the 32-year-old bleeding heavily, heard Roberts say “slow down, there’s police everywhere, I think he was hurt”.
Both Humphreys and Roberts, who both have a history of alcohol and drug abuse, pleaded guilty to robbery at an earlier hearing.
Roberts – who has previous convictions for assault and battery, and committed the offence while subject to a suspended sentence for battery and assaulting a police officer imposed earlier this year – is said have ‘no clear recollection’ about the attack as she had taken a legal high.
Peter Moss, defending, argued that her baby would be taken away, but said he knew that she had not considered the safety of her child as she was taking drugs at the time.
“She just cannot believe that she behaved in the way she did. She wants me to express her unreserved apology to the victim, the fact she knew him and had no axe to grind,” he said.
Humphreys, who has convictions for possession of a weapon and assault, had ‘hiked’ up his level of offending for this crime, and dropped a blood-stained note on the floor at the police station.
Simon Parry, defending, said he was full or remorse for his actions.
But Judge Woodward slated the attack as ‘terrifying for the victim’, saying: “It was quite petrifying in my judgement, with real cruelty and coldness against a man who was quite distressed but not prepared to meekly surrender to being a victim to you.”