Man jailed for knife attack as victim tried to walk away

A 25-year-old who slashed a man in the face following an argument in a Stoke park has been jailed for 12 years.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard that Lee Cooper’s victim – a 48-year-old man – had gone to a park in London Road for some fresh air at lunchtime on 2 November last year. 

The man sat on a bench next to Cooper, who was eating a takeaway. Cooper said: “Can’t you see I’m eating?” and then swore at him. 

After words were exchanged the man left and walked along London Road towards Stoke town centre.

Cooper, along with two other men, followed him and threw glass bottles at him.

Cooper pulled a six-inch flick knife, and in an alleyway leading to Chamberlain Street the man was struck from behind to the left side of his face. 

Police attended and found a man with a laceration to his face being treated by an ambulance crew. 

Three days later Cooper was identified and arrested by police. He was wearing the same clothing he had worn in the attack and had a chewing gum tub containing wraps of cocaine on him as well as £340 in cash. 

Lee Cooper, of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to wounding his victim, but his claim he had been assaulted first was rejected. 

He has been sentenced to 10 years 6 months for wounding with intent and a further 18 months for possession with intent to supply cocaine. He received a further 12-month sentence to run concurrently for possession of a blade. 

Detective Sergeant Phil White, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a cowardly and violent attack on a man who was trying to walk away. 

“We’re glad that Cooper is off the streets and serving a lengthy sentence behind bars. I’m grateful to my officers and the witnesses who helped us bring Cooper to justice.”

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