'Laughing' knifeman jailed for life after trying to kill pizza delivery worker in savage stab attack

Christopher Robson
Christopher Robson

A "laughing" knifeman who tried to kill a pizza delivery driver in a terrifying street stabbing has been jailed for life.

Victim Darren Aspley, who suffered knife wounds to his face and neck said "blood was coming out of him so quickly he could hear his heart beating" and was convinced he was about to die during the attack by Christopher Robson.

The terrified driver managed to get away in his van after the unprovoked violence, outside Waterloo Walk in Washington, while the 29-year-old attacker tried to open the passenger door, screaming "I'm going to ******* kill you".

Mr Aspley, who had one knife wound to his face and two to his neck, had to squeeze his throat as he drove, in a bid to stem the blood flowing from it before he managed to reach help and was taken to hospital.

The knife used by Christopher Robson in the attack.

The knife used by Christopher Robson in the attack.

READ MORE: "I get daily flashbacks. The stabbing has changed me." Pizza delivery worker recalls horrific knife attack.

He spent four days in an induced coma during a ten-day hospital stay and survived only due to medical intervention.

Robson, of Manor Road, Concord, Washington, who has as history of mental health problems, admitted attempted murder.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of amphetamine and carrying two knives in the street, which he confessed he did "all the time", just two weeks before the stabbing.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said Robson poses a "high level of danger to the public" and that he cannot be considered for parole until he has served at least seven years.

The judge told him: "Mr Aspley was aware of three blows, described by him as 'bangs', to the left side of his face.

"He saw you had a knife in your right hand, you were smiling at him, you said to him 'you are going to die' and laughed.

"He was aware of blood spurting from his throat."

The judge said without medical intervention, Mr Aspley would have died.

The court heard medical experts agreed Robson was likely to be suffering psychosis at the time of the stabbing.

But Judge Sloan told him: "You present a high risk of becoming psychotic if you fail to take your medication and abuse other substances, particularly amphetamine.

"You were aware of that risk, yet, in that knowledge, it is significant you stopped taking your medication and chose to abuse other substances, including amphetamine, prior to committing the offence of attempted murder."

Judge Sloan said a life sentence was necessary as there is no reliable estimate of the length of time Robson will remain a danger.

Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court Robson and Mr Aspley knew each other and would say "alright" if they passed in the street.

Mr Aspley had just finished work on November 25 2017 and was going home with some supper when he saw Robson in the car park.

The court heard Robson agreed to give Mr Aspley a hand in carrying his bags and a pizza box containing a kebab.

But he then attacked without warning, causing the three wounds.

Mr Guiliani said Mr Aspley initially thought he had been punched, until he saw the knife and felt the blood flowing.

Mr Aspley told police: "I looked directly at him, he was smiling at me, he said 'you are going to ****** die'. He laughed."

The court heard Mr Aspley got into the van and managed to drive away, while Robson tried to open the passenger door, screaming he was going to kill him.

Mr Guiliani added: "He said he thought he was going to die, he described the pain as unreal, he was squeezing his throat to stop the bleeding. His phone was covered in blood, he couldn't call 999."

The court heard Mr Aspley still suffers constant pain and has been left scarred for life.

Chrisopher Knox, defending, said Robson is "well, sensible and reasonable" when he co-operates with mental health services and takes his medication and has good family support.