Young man left with disfigurement after knife attack by girl’s jealous boyfriend

Court case report
Court case report

A ‘handsome young man’ has been left with disfigurement and is unable to close one eye after being stabbed in the face by the jealous boyfriend of a girl who had been texting him.

And at Warwick Crown Court victim Troy Watts’s attacker Caine Jackson was jailed for eight years.

Jackson, 20, of Parkfield Road, Rugby, had denied attempting to murder Mr Watts, but admitted wounding the 21-year-old with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Peter Grice said the two young men had met after Mr Watts moved to Rugby in 2012 and became friends, going out as a foursome with their respective girlfriends.

But in the summer of last year Jackson’s girlfriend at the time began sending sexually-explicit text messages to Mr Watts, who told his girlfriend what was happening.

She responded by telling the girl to tell Jackson what she had been doing, or she would do so herself.

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones observed: “Watts, a handsome young man, had not invited these texts and told his girlfriend straight away. He had behaved perfectly properly.”

Mr Grice said that when Jackson’s girlfriend told him she had been exchanging messages with Mr Watts, he formed the mistaken belief that they had been having sex.

Mr Watts’s girlfriend lived in the same street as Jackson, and during the afternoon on September 21 he was sitting in the passenger seat of a car outside her home.

He was facing away from the houses when Jackson walked up to the car, opened the door and immediately attacked him with a ten-inch blade carving knife.

Jackson kept repeating ‘talking to my girl,’ as he lashed out with the knife, stabbing Mr Watts twice to the left arm and once to the side of his head before stopping and running away.

Mr Watts’s girlfriend and her mother rushed to help him until an ambulance arrived and he was taken to hospital.

He had a deep 2cm wound to the side of his face which required invasive surgery to stem the bleeding, leaving him with a five-inch scar, as well as two wounds to his arm which needed stitches.

Jackson handed himself in to the police the following day and explained that he had heard Mr Watts talking about him outside and became ‘mad’.

So he took a knife from a kitchen drawer, crept up to the car and opened the door and stabbed him, and he admitted he had ‘wanted to hurt him.’

Mr Grice said that in a statement Mr Watts said that as a result of his injury and the surgery he needed, he has a permanent scar and has no feeling in the left side of his face and finds himself dribbling when he is eating and drinking.

In addition his left eye does not close properly, so he has to wear an eye-patch to sleep, and the damage to his facial muscles has resulted in him not being able to smile properly.

Judge Griffith-Jones commented: “A scar, though very unpleasant for a young man, is not going to be as debilitating as a facial weakness which gives a distortion of his appearance. I very much hope something can be done about that.”

Matthew Brook, defending, said: “This was a very unusual set of circumstances which arose which led to this offence, which the psychiatrist [who prepared a report on Jackson] says is unlikely to occur again.”

He said Jackson’s ‘shock at his own behaviour,’ and his remorse and sorrow for what he did, was clear.

“What Mr Jackson had heard, whether it was right or wrong, was that there had been a sexual relationship between Troy Watts and his girlfriend. That afternoon was the first occasion he had seen Troy Watts since becoming aware of those rumours.”

Mr Brook said that after the incident Jackson ran away, but after reflecting on what he had done he phoned his mother and then handed himself in the following day.

Jailing Jackson, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “You pleaded guilty to this at the first opportunity, and you will receive full credit for that.

“That said, this is a very grave offence.

“The first thing you should hold in mind is your good fortune, because if you had caused the death of Mr Watts you would have been guilty of murder. This would not have been a case of manslaughter. You would have had a life sentence.

“Once you take a carving knife and use it in the vicious and sustained way you did, striking at potentially vulnerable areas, it becomes a matter of chance whether you kill him or not.

“You have admitted taking a carving knife and using it because you were angry about rumours that your girlfriend was having a sexual relationship with him.

“In reality he was not, but you did not give him an opportunity to deny it. You just attacked him.”