A 16-year-old shouted “Do you want to get sliced up” before plunging a huge chunk of glass into a dad’s stomach. Jamal Adam-Neale stabbed Steven Cartwright in an alley in Southport last year in a brutal attack.
Mr Cartwright and his friend Steven Johnson were out in the town with family and friends celebrating after a family christening at which he was the godfather. He required life-saving surgery to remove part of his small bowel after the attack and has lifelong scarring.
In a rare move, a judge at Liverpool Crown Court ruled today Adam-Neale’s identity could be reported despite him being a child. Judge Gary Woodhall said the seriousness of Adam-Neale’s attack, public concern around knife crime and the fact he will be an adult when released from custody were all factors in rejecting an application to stop media identifying him.
The court was shown a range of CCTV footage of the incident as the teenager from Toxteth was sentenced today. Matthew Conway, prosecuting, said Mr Cartwright and Mr Johnson were walking through Southport town centre in the early hours of August 23 when they came into contact with Adam-Neale, who was with some friends.
Mr Conway said it was not clear what started an argument between the two groups as they passed each other on Scarisbrick Avenue but that it escalated rapidly. Adam-Neale punched Mr Cartwright and Mr Johnson, breaking Mr Cartwright’s elbow and injuring Mr Johnson’s head, before running off and picking up a large piece of glass.
Describing the CCTV footage, Mr Conway said: “He then goes towards the skip. He first picks up a piece of wood that he discards.
“He then picks up a piece of glass.”
He said he then ran back towards Mr Cartwright, finding him in an alley.
Mr Conway said: “He was shouting something like ‘I’ve got a knife, I’ve got a knife, do you want to get sliced up’.”
Adam-Neale then stabbed Cartwright once in the stomach and twice in the back before running off and being arrested by police on Southport’s waterfront.
Mr Cartwright, a barber, required surgery to remove part of his small bowel after the attack and has since lost an apprenticeship because of his inability to work due to his injuries.
In a statement to the court, he said the effects of the attack were devastating.
He said: “They’ve not only changed my life but they’ve changed my son’s and fiancée’s lives as well.
“Our wider family and friends are also now scared to go into Southport and feel traumatised by what has happened to me.
“This crime is so unethical, unlawful and socially outrageous.
“How can someone of this age go out and perform such a hideous crime?”
Jo Maxwell, defending, said Adam-Neale had asked her to apologise to Mr Cartwright and Mr Johnson at the outset.
She asked the judge, Gary Woodhall, to consider Adam-Neale’s youth when sentencing and pointed to his interviews with youth offending workers who said he was responding well to custody and could be rehabilitated.
Sentencing him this afternoon, Judge Woodhall said Adam-Neale currently posed a high risk to the public. However, he said the confidence among youth workers that the teenager could be rehabilitated meant he could not be deemed a dangerous offender, which would have seen him spend more time behind bars.
He said: “I am perfectly satisfied that sitting before me today you pose a significant risk to the public. “However, I have to consider the risk you pose in the future and taking into account what is before me, I am not satisfied that you meet that threshold.”
Adam-Neale, of Falkner Street, Liverpool, was detained for four years and four months after pleading guilty to wounding with intent and two counts of common assault.
He will serve half of that sentence in custody before being released and serving the rest in the community.