Knifeman left pal paralysed

Damien Woodham. Convicted of section 18 wounding. Given six years eight months.
Damien Woodham. Convicted of section 18 wounding. Given six years eight months.
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KNIFEMAN Damien Woodham paralysed his pal by repeatedly stabbing him in the head and neck.

The thug used a kitchen knife to slice through Alan McCall’s spinal cord after an argument at a birthday party.

Mr McCall suffered stab wounds to his face, neck, head and hands during the horrific onslaught, leaving him collapsed, paralysed and lying in a bloody heap.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Woodham, 24, was jailed for six years and eight months after admitting wounding with intent.

The court heard how the friends had been drinking together during the gathering at Shoreswood Drive in Tunstall the week before Christmas.

But the mood turned sour when an argument flared, which involved others at the house.

Prosecutor Penny Moreland told the court: “For seemingly no good reason the defendant picked up a kitchen knife and advanced on the complainant. The complainant put his hands over his face and crouched to the floor.

“There the defendant stabbed five or six times at the man’s head, hands and neck.

“The position was that those stab wounds, particularly the stab wound to the back of the neck, caused what the doctor described as a penetrating trauma to the spinal cord and caused the neurological syndrome of paralysis.”

Mr McCall was detained in hospital for weeks following the attack and during his long admission he was slowly able to make attempts to get back on his feet.

At first, he required a wheelchair to move about but later managed with the assistance of a zimmer-frame, before moving onto crutches.

Mr McCall, of Sunderland, now faces lifelong weakness to his left limbs, despite the promising partial recovery.

Judge Roger Thorn told Woodham: “You stabbed your friend on several occasions to the neck, hands and head, causing damage to the spinal cord and temporary paralysis.

“There has been a remarkable recovery but he still has serious and probably permanent injury including residual weakness that will last the rest of his life.”

Julie Clemitson, defending, said Woodham, of Bismark Street, Leeds, had believed in his drunken state that he needed to defend himself against Mr McCall.

Miss Clemitson added: “This man was his friend, he bore him no ill will.”