A YOUTH who left a city centre worker fighting for his life after stabbing him during a fight on his work break has been sent to a young offender’s institute for six and a half years.
The Evening Post won the right to name former Myerscough College student Kingsley Cairns, 17, of Sheffield Drive, Lea, Preston, in a bid to highlight the dangers of carrying a knife.
Victim Dominic Horton, then 18, was left with life threatening internal injuries after being stabbed in a ginnel behind the Black Horse pub off Orchard Street, Preston, and spent more than two months in hospital.
The blade cut his aorta and perforated his stomach and bowel, causing massive internal bleeding, and he needed a series of life-saving surgeries and blood transfusions, Judge Heather Lloyd was told.
He had to be treated by three separate specialist teams and his family, who were met by armed officers at the hospital, faced an anxious seven-hour wait as he had lifesaving surgery.
He spent 10 days in intensive care and was eventually released in February this year, still with an open wound to his abdomen.
In a statement read in court, one surgeon said if he had not undergone medical procedures the “outcome would have been very different”.
Cairns pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and possessing a knife.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Horton said the scar to his stomach “reminds him of the offence every single day.”
He has to have ongoing medical surveillance and says he is “terrified” at the prospect of going into Preston city centre again.
Preston Crown Court heard Mr Horton, the defendant, and defendant’s mother had previously had a confrontation in the city.
Mr Horton went to the Halifax bank on Orchard Street at around 5.30pm on December 21 on his break from his 11-7 shift at work.
Cairns “came across him by chance” and after waiting for him outside the bank challenged him to a one-on-one fight, with Cairns inviting the victim to “come down the alley where there’s no cameras.”
Prosecuting, Carl Hargan said in his basis of plea, Cairns said he had no intention of using the knife, but panicked when he realised he was about to lose the fight.
He said: “The defendant told Dominic Horton to go into the ginnel at back of pub.
“A number of people heard the words, ‘Come down here’.
“Mr Horton walked into the ginnel and felt a blow to stomach. He thought it was a punch. He looked him in the eyes and Kingsley Cairns looked down.
“In his statement Mr Horton says, ‘I looked again at his face. He looked sick, like he had just realised what he had done’.”
Cairns appeared by video link from HMYOI Wetherby, as his relatives watched proceedings from the public gallery.
Defending, Sarah Magill said: “This is a very sad case, an example of the inherent dangers of carrying a knife.
“He had no intention of violence. He travelled to the city centre to meet his friend in order to go about the normal activities teenage boys do, going shopping and going to meet some girls at McDonald’s.
“He comes from a strong, loving and supportive background.”
Judge Lloyd said: “Whatever gripe you had with him or he had with you, there is really nothing that can excuse or explain you carrying a knife in a busy city centre just before Christmas, nor is there anything that can excuse your use of that knife.
“One person described you as looking cocksure.
“You were armed and Mr Horton was not, nor did he know you were armed. He thought at best what might occur was a fist fight.
“He did not stand a chance when you decided to use that knife in the alleyway.
“Time and again adults and children are warned of the dangers of carrying knives. The potential for the escalation of violence is obvious, and carrying knifes even when concealed, represents a threat to public safety and order.”
Another youth present at the time, who cannot be named, was given supervision by Preston Youth Court after admitting affray.