Teenager given eight years in prison for Merry Hill Shopping Centre attack

A Dudley teenager has been jailed for eight years after stabbing another young man following an altercation at Merry Hill Shopping Centre.

Ronan Parker, aged 19, was told his victim Mason Smith feared he was going to die from the single stab wound he suffered in the attack on July 8th.

Mr Smith had to be rushed to Russells Hall Hospital where he underwent major surgery for serious stomach injuries, but despite his wound becoming infected, Mr Smith, also 19, is now expected to make a full recovery. Judge Simon Ward told Wolverhampton Crown Court that if it had not been for emergency surgery the stabbing could have been fatal. 

Parker, of Dixons Green Road, Dudley, who appeared on a video link from Brinsford Young Offenders Institution, pleaded guilty to wounding Mr Smith at the Brierley Hill shopping mall, with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm. CCTV footage of the incident showed Mr Smith with a group of friends when one of the group was barged into by Parker.

While showing the footage, Howard Searle, prosecuting, said that after turning back towards the group, Parker suggested they should “take the issue outside” and he continued to follow behind them.

As the group walked out of the upper mall of the centre, towards Marks & Spencer, Mr Smith took off his top before punching Parker, who at this time already had a flick knife in his hand which he stabbed into the side of Mr Smith.

The CCTV footage showed Parker was then chased by the group into Marks & Spencer before he was eventually caught and arrested by police. Mr Searle said the knife, which had a blade which was around four to five inches long, caused a large laceration to Mr Smith’s spleen.

Robert Cowley, defending, said Parker – who in March this year was given a suspended sentence for using threatening language – was carrying the knife for protection after he was attacked by a gang wielding a baseball bat earlier this year.

Judge Simon Ward, who said Parker was “looking for a fight”, told the defendant that after taking into consideration his age, previous convictions and early plea he was sentencing him to eight years in prison for what he considered fell into one of the most serious categories of offences.

“The knife you had was not a skilled blade or a kitchen implement, it was a weapon. There is no excuse for carrying a knife."

“People who carry knives open themselves up to using them, which can only lead to terrible circumstances. When you challenged them to go outside they weren’t to know you had a knife in your hand.

“There was a degree of provocation, but this was provocation you could have easily resisted.”

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