Sleaford

A Lincolnshire man who tried to kill his best friend with a kitchen knife after suffering psychotic and delusional thoughts has been jailed for ten years, Lincoln Crown Court heard on Thursday.

Christopher Thompson, 23, from Great Hale, near Heckington, admitted a charge of attempted murder after stabbing Petras Cirtautas in the chest.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Thompson attacked Mr Cirtautas with the knife after arranging to meet him at Heckington railway station on August 10 last year.

Luke Blackburn, prosecuting, said Thompson made substantial admissions to the offence of attempted murder both at the scene and later to police.

At the time of the offence Thompson was suffering from a psychotic episode and spoke of the “after life”, the court was told.

Mr Blackburn told the court it was an aggravating feature that Thompson took a knife to the scene, but that had to be weighed against his mental state.

Earlier this year a jury found Thompson had attempted to murder his friend after being told he could not enter a plea to the charge because of his mental health issues.

Following his trial Thompson was transferred to a mental health hospital but after further treatment it was decided he was able to enter a plea.

Thompson, previously of Heckington Road, Great Hale, appeared at Lincoln Crown Court in July and pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted murder and a second offence of possessing a bladed article.

The court heard Thompson had since written a letter of apology to his victim.

Thompson was returned to prison following his guilty pleas.

Defence barrister, Jeremy Jaines, said this was a tragic case and Thompson had shown true remorse.

Mr Jaines told the court: “In a moment Mr Thompson went from being a fun loving and cheerful man, son and brother, with no convictions, to a man who attempted to take the life of his best friend.

“All this occured because of the turmoil he was going through.

“He tried to put things right almost straight away.

“He was one of those who called the emergency services, and repeated what he had done.”

Mr Jaines added it was clear from all the witnesses on the day of the offence that Thompson was suffering from mental health issues.

In a witness statement Mr Cirtautas, also known as Peter, described how Thompson had been talking about the after life prior to the attack and then also handed him a knife.

The two men had previously attended St George’s School in Sleaford and were old friends, the court was told.

The incident occurred after Mr Cirtautas had travelled by train from Sleaford to Heckington.

Mr Cirtautas was taken to the home of two off duty police officers after Thompson produced the kitchen knife and stabbed him in the chest.

The blow punctured Mr Cirtautas’s lung and he fell to the floor. He spent three days in hospital.

In an updated victim impact statement Mr Cirtautas said he felt close to death and suffered flashbacks after the attack.

But Mr Cirtautas said he was willing to forgive Thompson and support his medical recovery.

Passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst told Thompson it was clear from the doctors who had examined him that he was suffering from a psychotic event at the time of the offence which was aggravated by his use of drugs and stress.

But Judge Hirst said that had to be balanced against the fact he had planned to murder his victim.

Judge Hirst told Thompson: ” You chose to take drugs, and you chose to try and take the life of Mr Cirtautas to achieve peace for yourself.”

A pub in Sleaford is set to face a licence review at police’s request, after officers filed reports of a 15-year-old working behind the bar and customers regularly taking drugs.

The Bull and Dog on Southgate in Sleaford will face the alcohol and entertainment licensing sub committee hearing at 10am on Wednesday, December 1, after a number of alleged licence breaches at the pub.

It comes after Lincolnshire Police’s licensing officers have “had cause to visit the premises on many occasions in the last year”, including reports of drug taking, underage staff members and sexual assault within the building.

Police say that the premises was found to be breaching a number of its licence conditions, such as no staff training, no age verification policy, breaching CCTV conditions and the designated premises supervisor (DPS) not presenting himself to police at officer request.

On September 10, 2021, intelligence was given to police in reference to a 15-year-old working behind the bar serving alcohol after midnight. The day after this, a report was made that a female had been offered drugs by someone in the pub, and she was allegedly removed from the premises after informing a member of staff.

The DPS stated to police that the staff member working behind the bar was in fact underage, and that no work permit was in place for the child.

Officers say during their “many” visits to the Bull and Dog, they were never greeted by the licence holder, but his business partner and other staff members instead, who were “often obstructive” to police.

All questions asked by police aimed at the licence holder were deferred to his business partner, who responded by saying he was unaware of his responsibilities as it had never been relayed to him.

PC Jonathan Jones provided a witness statement for the hearing, which stated that he was made aware of an incident that took place on September 18, which reportedly saw someone sexually assaulted on the dance floor of the bar at around 11.50pm.

The officers states that the victim reported the incident to the door staff who “ejected the offender”, but upon police investigation it was discovered that no details had been recorded in the Bull and Dog’s incident book, despite a condition in the licence premises stating that all details of crime/disorder must be recorded.

British Transport Police are investigating reports of an alleged homophobic abuse aimed at a member of rail staff on a train between Sleaford and Heckington.

The incident happened at 6.10pm on Thursday, October 14, when a train conductor asked a male passenger to see his ticket.

The man refused to show the conductor his ticket, and as he was leaving the train, he made homophobic slurs towards the conductor, according to British Transport Police.

Sleaford railway station. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Officers believe the man in the picture may have information which could help with their investigation.

If you recognise him or have any information about the incident, contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 405040, quoting incident number 512 of October 14.

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