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Man launches knife attack on friend who locked him out of his flat, court hears

 Published on: 20th June 2017   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

A St Albans man launched a frenzied knife attack on a friend because he had locked him out of his flat, a jury heard today/Tuesday. Craig Sutherland, 40, smashed glass to get back inside his home where he allegedly stabbed Vinny Rajput 12 times. In an interview with the police two months after the attack, 46-year-old Mr Rajput said: “I have been through an ordeal. I have had so many vivid dreams. “I am feeling fatigued, exhausted,  under-weight and can’t get into a routine. My limbs hurt, my joints hurt. “I was stabbed multiple times – through the small and large intestines, the pancreas, through my large bowel, through liver and through my lung. I had various superficial wounds around my body.” Mr Sutherland of Thorn House, Townsend Avenue, St Albans denies attempted murder of Verinder Rajput on the night of September 12 to 13 last year. He also denies an alternative, lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm. Prosecutor Duncan O’Donnell told the jury of eight women and four men at St Albans Crown Court the defendant and the victim were the only people in the flat at the time. He said Vinny Rajput suffered at least 12 stab and slash wounds. One stab missed his liver and kidneys by a centimetre and another passed close to his aorta. “Without paramedics and the intensive care team at Watford General Hospital, he would have died from his wounds,” he said. The jury heard that in the afternoon Mr Rajput had left the hostel at Kent House in St Albans where he was living. He had been drinking the afternoon and took whisky to drink at the defendant’s address in the evening. Mr O’Donnell said there was a disagreement between the two men because Mr Rajput was unhappy when the defendant used Rajput’s phone to order some drugs. The victim went into the kitchen to look for his Vape and then saw Mr Sutherland, who had been jumping around, standing in the doorway holding a kitchen knife. The prosecutor went on: “Mr Rajput made two 999 calls. In the first at 23.09 he is incoherent and attempts to give directions. He said: ‘Some geezer is trying to f…… stab me.’ In a second call, five minutes later,  he said: “I have been assaulted … attacked. And you are just not taking it seriously. Get somebody round here.” Mr O’Donnell said the police Mr Rajput could not tell them where he was and they had no idea where the call was coming from. A woman neighbour called the police with the location after being woken by a noise. She allegedly heard Sutherland say: ‘You have locked me out of my flat. This is my property . Open the door.’ Craig Sutherland was said to be shouting through his letter box before coming back with a large brick. He smashed the glass panel in his front door and allegedly shouted: “When I get in there I will f…… kill you.” The woman neighbour heard a hitting sound and another man screaming and in pain. The jury heard that two officers arrived at the scene, meeting Sutherland, who had blood on him,  in the doorway to the flats. They blocked his exit and he turned and went back inside, locking himself in.  They could see he was armed with a knife. The two police officers were told to back off and wait for an armed response unit. With officers at the front and rear of the flat, the defendant was heard to say: “I didn’t want it to come to this. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t had to break into my home. He locked me out.” The jury was played body-cam footage from one officer as the police forced their way in through the barricaded door. The defendant was found standing over Mr Rajput in the living room. He gave himself up to the officer. The knife was found by the window. On his way to the police station he told officers: “I took a massive overdose because I want to die in custody. ” Case proceeding

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