New Milton's Carl Hastings stabbed Spencer Scott in chest near railway station in revenge 'mistake'
A NEW Milton man stabbed a motorcyclist in a mistaken revenge attack.
Carl Hastings (31) knifed Spencer Scott in the chest near New Milton railway station, Southampton Crown Court heard, and it was "luck" the victim’s clothing was so thick the blade did not do serious damage.
Prosecutor William Saunders said shortly before 11pm on 20th June 2019, Hastings had first been stabbed in the back at the same place by another man, who was later convicted of possessing a knife in relation the incident.
Mr Saunders said Hastings then dashed to his home in nearby Osborne Road and returned to the station platform with a knife to confront his attacker.
In the meantime Mr Scott – who was not known to the defendant – had arrived at the station with friends on motorcycles intending to pick up his partner.
Hastings appeared on the platform and was heard to say he had a knife and was "not afraid to use it", which caused "panic" among the other people there.
The friends rode off, with Mr Scott journeying to the nearby taxi rank to ask them to call police.
"That allowed Hastings to catch up with him and use the knife on [Mr Scott]," Mr Saunders outlined.
"He stabbed him in the side of the chest – but luckily he had thick clothing on and suffered only a very small wound.
"Hastings had decided, quite wrongly, to go and arm himself with a knife and return to take revenge, and thought Mr Scott was part of a group that had attacked him."
The court heard Mr Scott suffered minor physical injuries, but the psychological impact had been "substantial" and he subsequently became a "recluse".
In a statement, he said the incident "cost me two years of my life", causing him anxiety and sleepless nights.
He had left his job, suffered financially and was "heartbroken" as since then he had not ridden a bike, which had been one of the joys of his life.
Hastings had pleaded guilty to wounding without intent, on a basis including that he had been attacked and mistakenly targeted Mr Scott.
He also admitted having a blade in public. The court noted that among his previous convictions was one for knife possession six years ago.
Defence barrister Nick Robinson acknowledged the offence crossed the custody threshold but stressed his client’s genuine remorse and regret .
"There is no justification for the defendant’s behaviour but the reality is there was a degree of provocation, and a basis for him to lose his temper."
Hastings’ father had died just before the incident, which affected his client, Mr Robinson added.
He handed to the court letters which showed Hastings was the sole full-time home carer for his mother, who suffered from a host of conditions.
Hastings also has a new partner and the pair are due to have a baby soon. He is also the step-father to her two other children, the court heard.
Mr Robinson pointed out Hastings had stayed out of trouble since the incident.
Sentencing, Judge Burrell handed Hastings a two-year term suspended for two years and told him to do 200 hours of unpaid work and complete 15 days of rehabilitation.