Liverpool knifeman jailed for 'terrifying' train passenger attack

media captionLiverpool knifeman threatens to 'stab rail passenger up'

A knifeman who carried out a "cowardly and terrifying" attack on a visually impaired rail passenger has been jailed.

James Donnelly, 23, admitted attempted robbery and possessing a bladed article on a train in Liverpool on 27 December.

British Transport Police said Donnelly, of Garston, punched his 56-year-old victim and threatened to "stab him up" with an eight-inch (20cm) knife.

Donnelly was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to five years in prison.

image copyrightPolice handout
image captionJames Donnelly admitted attempted robbery and possessing a knife

Donnelly, of Stormont Road, punched his victim in the face and demanded he hand over his watch in a "cowardly and unprovoked attack on a man simply minding his own business", said Det Sgt Ian Henderson.

He said when the victim refused, Donnelly produced the knife and held it to his stomach.

Det Sgt Henderson said the victim resisted before Donnelly put the knife back into his waistband and returned to his seat.

'Terrifying incident'

He left the train at Liverpool Central and discarded the weapon but was arrested.

"The victim has suffered greatly, both psychologically and physically, since this terrifying incident," the officer said.

"The injuries caused by the punch will require several visits to his dentist.

"He has lost confidence and suffers anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks."

He added it had affected the victim's livelihood, too, since he is self-employed and has had to take time off work.

image copyrightPolice handout
image captionDonnelly discarded the knife when he got off the train

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