Footballers

Man sentenced for attempted murder in St Albans

A man was sentenced on Friday, October 6 to 17 years in prison and a further five years on extended licence for attempted murder.

Craig Sutherland, aged 40, of Townsend Avenue, St Albans, appeared at St Albans Crown Court for sentencing. He was found guilty by a jury at the same court following a three-week trial on Thursday, July 6.

On the night of Monday, September 12 last year, Sutherland repeatedly stabbed 46-year-old Verinder Rajput, who is better known as Vinnie.

During the attack inside Sutherland’s flat, his victim suffered 12 stab wounds to his back, neck, head, hands and torso. Some of his vital organs were perforated and he also suffered a fractured jaw.

Life-saving treatment was given to Mr Rajput at the scene by the emergency services and he spent two months in hospital recovering.

On the night of the attack Sutherland and Mr Rajput, who had known each other for more than a decade, had been drinking alcohol when an argument broke out.

When officers arrived at the property, Sutherland barricaded himself in the living room. He was still armed with a knife and was threatening to cause further harm to his victim.

Officers forced entry into the flat and detained Sutherland who was kneeling over Mr Rajput with a knife in his hand.

Detective Inspector Pushpa Guild from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “When officers arrived at Sutherland’s flat he was threatening to cause further harm to his victim and it was only the quick actions of officers and paramedics that saved Mr Rajput’s life.

“Today, Mr Rajput continues to recover from the significant injuries he suffered at the hands of Sutherland.

“This lengthy sentence reflects the violent and sustained attack that was carried out by Sutherland.”

Robbie Weber, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “We have worked closely with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the police and prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved. The CPS and police are committed to protecting the public from violent criminals and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders. Today’s sentence should act as a deterrent to others that violence will simply not be tolerated in our communities.

“We know that nothing can undo what happened to the victim, but we hope that the conviction and today’s sentence bring him at least a small sense that justice has been done. We also hope that the victim, who has shown great courage throughout this process, continues with his recovery. Our thoughts are very much with him at this time.”

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