A jury has agreed that a Rugby teenager who carried out a ferocious knife attack which left his victim with part of his intestines hanging out had meant to kill him.
The 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, and his accomplice Charley Taylor (19) of Ennerdale, Brownsover, Rugby, had both denied a charge of attempted murder.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court found the 17-year-old guilty by a unanimous verdict, while Taylor was found not guilty, but guilty of an alternative offence of wounding with intent.
Unknown to the jury, the 17-year-old had already pleaded guilty to further unrelated offences of wounding with intent and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Those charges had followed an incident in Grosvenor Road, Rugby, when a man in his 20’s was shot in the face, just two days after the 17-year-old’s stabbing of Gurpreet Purewal in Coventry.
Both teenagers were remanded in custody and will be sentenced after reports have been prepared on them – with Judge Peter Cooke ordering that the one on the 17-year-old should consider the danger he poses to the public.
During the trial prosecutor Graeme Simpson told the jury the stabbing took place on the evening of February 25 this year in the centre of Coventry in New Union Street ‘almost within sight of the police station.’
Taylor and the 17-year-old were staying at the Hylands Hotel, where CCTV showed they both appeared to be intoxicated and the 17-year-old was inhaling nitrous oxide from a balloon.
Tracked by a variety of street and business CCTV cameras, they were seen trying car doors as they headed to New Union Street and then into Greyfriars Lane where there was ‘some interaction’ between them and the occupants of a white Range Rover.
“In a very short space of time Gurpreet Purewal, who is in his 20s, appears from round the corner, making his way home after going to the shops to buy food.
“The defendants were on the opposite side of the road, and they saw him. He was a complete stranger to them, and they approached him and Charley Taylor said ‘We’re going to kill you,’ and they attacked him.
“It very quickly became a joint attack, and it was over within 30 seconds.”
It was alleged by Mr Simpson that both defendants had and used knives during the attack, in which Mr Purewal was stabbed at least four times, including once to the gut which left part of his intestines hanging out.
After the attack the 17-year-old picked up Mr Purewal’s bag of shopping as their victim fled, chased by Taylor.
Badly injured and bleeding heavily, Mr Purewal ran into New Union Street where he first went into the Coventry Kebab House to seek assistance – only to be turned away and pointed in the direction of the nearby police station.
He then made it to the Taste of Mexico take-away, where a member of staff went outside to phone for an ambulance.
The defendants appeared and ran towards Mr Purewal who took refuge inside and locked the door as they repeatedly banged on the window and door shouting threats that they would kill him.
Taylor then spotted the staff member on the phone and ran towards him, threatening: “Don’t make me f*** you up.”
Meanwhile someone at the police station had heard the commotion, and officers arrested Taylor at the scene, although the 17-year-old evaded capture and made his way to the railway station to return to Rugby.
Mr Purewal was given emergency first aid by officers using a medical kit from the Taste of Mexico as he lay on the ground outside, screaming in agony as pressure was placed on the wound to his abdomen.
A combat-style knife with a 14cm serrated blade was later recovered from nearby bushes and found to have Mr Purewal’s blood and Taylor’s DNA on it.
But Taylor, who claimed in court their intention had been to rob Mr Purewal, not to kill him, denied having a knife during the attack.
And the 17-year-old said it was the knife he had used to stab Mr Purewal, and that he had then handed it to Taylor to get rid of.
Of the 17-year-old’s guilty plea to wounding, which had been rejected by the prosecution, Mr Simpson commented: “Because of the ferocity of the attack and the number of wounds to the body, we say he had only one intention, to kill Gurpreet Purewal.”