Judge blasts: You have no qualms about using a knife

Jailed: William Edwards
Jailed: William Edwards

An armed robber, who stabbed an acquaintance who intervened in the incident, has been described as “a very dangerous young man.”

And William Edwards was today starting a nine-year jail term with an extended licence of three years.

Leigh man Edwards was told by Judge Clement Goldstone that he took the view that he presents a significant risk of causing further harm to the public.

“You are a paranoid schizophrenic with anger management issues and have no qualms about using a knife as a weapon of offence or defence.”

The judge said that Edwards had been unwilling to discuss with a psychiatrist about his motivation but it was possible he had used the knife because of voices in his head or because of his life long anger management issues.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 26-year-old has previous convictions for possessing knives but these offences represented an escalation in his offending behaviour.

The judge pointed out that Edwards, of Edale Road, Leigh, frequently did not take his medication and until he did he would continue to be a risk to the public.

Philip Clemo, prosecuting, told the court that on December 17 last year Edwards was in The Avenue, Leigh at the junction of Leigh Road and encountered takeaway worker Reza Azhdarkosh and “pushed a knife against him”.

He demanded his money and though the victim said he had none he continued to demand cash and began to “stab gently” towards him before pushing it against his chest.

Mr Azhdarkosh grabbed hold of the knife and at this stage a passing motorist, Kristopher Houghton, stopped to intervene in what he thought was a fight. He recognised both men and when he asked Edwards what he was doing Edwards ran over to his car.

“He leaned through the window stabbing at him a number of times to the body and medical evidence shows two landed,” said Mr Clemo. It was later found at hospital that he had two linear injuries to his torso and he needed intravenous pain killers.

In an impact statement Mr Houghton said that Edwards was “a dangerous person, he is very unpredictable and can just flip without warning.”

He said he was afraid to go out and “honestly think I could have been killed.”

Edwards pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and wounding with intent.

David Polglase, defending, said that Edwards, who has committed 12 previous offences, clearly has on-going mental health issues.

He has a child and his supportive partner is expecting his second child at the end of this month. He has been self-harming and has suicidal thoughts and has been threatened by an organised crime gang in Liverpool, added Mr Polglase.