Sentence cut for jailed stabber

A THUG who stabbed a Spalding pub-goer on his way home had his sentence cut by top judges on Tuesday.

Laurence Edward Cripps, (52), of Double Street, Spalding, was jailed for three and a half years at Lincoln Crown Court in August after he was convicted of unlawful wounding.

Cripps “tracked” and attacked Sean Ground following a heated verbal exchange between the two in a pub in November 2009.

Mr Ground was walking home when Cripps caught up with him, Judge Stephen Kramer QC told London’s Appeal Court, attacking him without warning.

“He lunged at him several times with a knife without saying a word,” the judge added.

Cripps then returned to the pub and told a friend he had stabbed Mr Ground, who suffered “defensive” wounds to his forearm and pinprick wounds to his body.

“The knife penetrated three layers of clothing,” said Judge Kramer, who was sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Nicol.

There were clear aggravating features to the offence, observed the judge, including the element of planning and the fact that Cripps “tracked his victim”.

The assault was also carried out “under the influence of drink”.

But the overall sentence was nevertheless “manifestly excessive”, concluded Judge Kramer, reducing it to two years and nine months.