Anthony Stephenson (pictured) has been jailed for six years after the assault in Newcastle in 2019
Detectives have hailed a Good Samaritan who bravely intervened after a knife-wielding thug carried out a city centre attack.
Anthony Stephenson threatened to “murder” his victim before plunging a knife into his upper body outside Central Bar in Newcastle on October 13 last year.
After seeing Stephenson brandish the knife, a second man bravely stepped forward to try and stop him – suffering serious cuts to his finger that required surgery.
The 42-year-old knifeman then went back into the bar and attempted to dispose of the blade – which police later found to contain Stephenson’s DNA and traces of blood from one of the victims.
Yesterday (Thursday) Stephenson, of St Georges Terrace, Lemington, was jailed for six years with an extended four years on licence after pleading guilty to wounding with intent and unlawful wounding at Newcastle Crown Court.
Detective Constable Gareth Welsh, the officer in charge of the case, has today praised both victims and thanked the Good Samaritan for his brave actions that prevented a more sinister assault from taking place.
“This was an incredibly serious and unprovoked attack,” Det Con Welsh said. “Newcastle is a safe and friendly city which has a vibrant nightlife and has lots to offer for residents and visitors alike.
“However, Stephenson’s actions that night were absolutely appalling – and it’s therefore imperative that individuals like him are taken off our streets and brought to justice.
“After initially approaching the first victim inside the bar but with no trouble ensuing, he waited until closing time before confronting him again and stabbing him.
“At this point, a bystander saw what was happening and showed incredible bravery in trying to intervene – risking injury to himself to protect the victim from coming to more serious harm.
“While we would not actively encourage members of the public to put themselves in harm’s way, there’s little doubt that the man’s actions prevented a potentially more serious attack from being carried out – he should be incredibly proud of his actions.
“We will not tolerate violent incidents such as this on our streets and we will ensure anybody found to be carrying a weapon is dealt with robustly. Stephenson now begins a significant custodial term and there’s little doubt our city is a safer place with him behind bars.”
The court heard Stephenson initially approached the first victim and his friends inside the bar near a games machine, but no argument or trouble followed.
However, the offender approached again when the group had left the bar a short time later – and proceeded to pull out a knife and plunge it into the victim’s chest.
A man who was unknown to the victim then attempted to intervene – suffering two deep cuts to his finger that also required surgery.
After carrying out the two assaults, Stephenson went back into the bar and tried to dispose of the weapon under a table – but it was swiftly found by police and forensically linked to him and one of the victims.
In a statement prepared for court, the first victim said: “I’m regularly having flashbacks to the incident and as a result of this I’m hardly sleeping.
“Also when I see strangers next to me with their hands in their clothing or pockets I get paranoid and anxious about what is going to happen.
“The stress that the whole incident has caused me cannot be underestimated.”
Stephenson now begins a custodial term