Man admits slashing victims in Christmas Eve attack

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A SLASHER has admitted injuring four men in a horrific attack.

Thomas Ratcliff lashed out at revellers outside a nightclub at Holmeside in Sunderland city centre in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

One victim suffered serious facial wounds in the assault and three others received cuts to their arms or hands.

One of those injured, a bouncer who was on duty that night, suffered a wound to his thumb in the attack, but was able to return to work after it was treated at the scene.

The other victims, who are believed to be teenagers, needed treatment at hospital. The bloody assault was captured on CCTV.

Ratcliff was originally charged with four offences of wounding with intent and one of attempted wounding with intent.

The 18-year-old pleaded guilty to one charge of wounding with intent, which has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, two charges of unlawful wounding and one of common assault in relation to the doorman.

His pleas were acceptable to the prosecution.

The court heard Ratcliff, of St Luke’s Road, Sunderland, has been dealt with by the courts for one offence of violence in the past.

Judge Christopher Prince adjourned the case until April 27 and ordered the preparation of a pre- sentence report.

Ratcliff was remanded in custody.

The judge warned him: “Because of the nature of the offence the pre-sentence report will have to contain a dangerousness assessment.

“You know that custody is inevitable. It is just a question of how long that sentence will be.”

Nigel Barnes, defending, told the court Ratcliff accepts a prison sentence is inevitable, but the lawyer said he will try to convince the court an indefinite jail term for the protection of the public will not be necessary in this case.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho