Lowthian Street stabbing: Kingsley Cairns jailed for attack down dark alley

Posted on - 4th May, 2016 - 10:37pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Lea, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Detectives on the scene in Lowthian Street

Detectives on the scene in Lowthian Street

A teenager who stabbed a man behind a pub in Preston city centre has been sentenced to six and a half years in a young offenders institute.

Dominic Horton, 18, was left fighting for his life after he was stabbed through the abdomen behind the Black Horse pub in Orchard Street.

His attacker, Kingsley Cairns, 17, of Sheffield Drive, Lea, claimed he did not intend to use the knife with which he inflicted the life-threatening wound, as Christmas shoppers shouted in horror.

Mr Horton spent 48 hours on a ventilator and underwent eight hours of life saving surgery following the attack at around 5.30pm on December 21.

Judge Heather Lloyd, sentencing, said: “He didn’t stand a chance”.

Preston Crown Court heard Cairns and Mr Horton had had a previous confrontation in Preston City Centre and when Cairns saw Mr Horton leaving the bank in Orchard Street he told him to go down Lowthian Street – the alley which runs behind the Black Horse – as there were no cameras down there. But unbeknown to Mr Horton, Cairns was carrying a knife.

Judge Lloyd said: “You didn’t wave the knife around in a threatening manner but in some ways that is what is so chilling.

“Had Mr Horton realised you had a knife he would have run away. He thought there may be a fist fight, at worst.”

Police tape at top end of Lowthian Street by the market

Police tape at top end of Lowthian Street by the market

In the alley Mr Horton felt a blow to his stomach and thought he had been punched.

But when he looked down he saw a blade in Cairns’ hand and blood coming through his clothing.

In his police statement, Mr Horton told officers: “I looked again at his eyes. Kingsley looked sick, like he had just realised what he had done.”

Cairns then sprinted away from the alley and called a taxi to take him home while passers by went to help Mr Horton – who was slumped on the ground.

Sarah Magill, defending, said: “This is a terrifying and sad example of the inherent dangers in carrying knives.

“The confrontation was not intended to be as lethal as it duly became.”

At the time of the stabbing, Cairns – who has ADHD – was not taking medication – a factor Judge Lloyd said may have contributed to the attack.

Life-changing injuries

Mr Horton suffered a deep wound to his abdomen which caused damage to his internal organs.

His family were met by armed police and told he may not survive when they arrived at Royal Preston Hospital. Surgeons battled for three hours to stem the bleeding and Mr Horton underwent eight hours of surgery.

He was on a ventilator for three days and remained in the intensive care unit for 10 days before being transferred to the ward.

Mr Horton had several blood transfusions and surgeons were not able to close the wound, leaving Mr Horton needing daily care from the community nursing team.

One of the doctors said: “In my clinical opinion this was a life threatening injury. Had he not undergone emergency surgery the outcome would have been very different.”

Mr Horton remained in hospital over the Christmas period and was discharged on January 21 – a month after he was stabbed.

In a victim impact statement, he said: “The scar will cover my stomach for the rest of my life. Every single day I will wake up and see the scar.

“It will affect me for the rest of my life. The injury will require me to be off work for the foreseeable future which upsets me because I enjoy my job.

“The thought of going into Preston city centre terrifies me.

“I now can’t imagine a day when I will feel safe and I can’t imagine a day when I look at my scars without feeling ugly.”

Handing down a sentence of six years and six months, Judge Lloyd told Cairns: “It is a mercy you did not kill Mr Horton as you could so easily have done.

“He will have to live with permanent reminders of what you have done for the rest of his life and he will have to have life long monitoring.”

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