New Year fight led to revenge stabbing at Durham pub

Stephen Trotter
Stephen Trotter
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A MAN seeking revenge for a New Year’s Eve pub attack on his father, returned to stab a rival with a knife taped to his hand.

Stephen Trotter helped his dad home after he was assaulted when he stepped in to break up a brawl involving his younger son and Matthew Dudding, Durham Crown Court heard.

But 19-year-old Trotter, who was also hurt, returned to the Happy Wanderer in Framwellgate, Durham, knocking on the door of the by-then locked pub to square up to Mr Dudding and his brother, who agreed to a fight if he put the blade down.

Outside the pub, the thug showed them a scar he had sustained in a stabbing himself and warned “I will have every one of you, one by one”.

Trotter then plunged the 7in kitchen knife into Matthew Dudding’s back, claiming the victim threw the first punch.

Although he later claimed he “forgot” he had Sellotaped the knife to his hand, he told police he had secured it so the weapon could not be taken from him.

Durham Crown Court also heard he told officers “I stuck it in his lungs as far as I could,” and when they remarked the knife had been 6ins long, said it had been 2in longer.

Jane Mitford, prosecuting, said a medical report on the victim, who spent several days in hospital, showed the knife had hit muscle and had missed organs and arteries.

In an impact statement, Mr Dudding said he was self-conscious about the scar left and now loses his temper more easily.

Judge Christopher Prince was told Trotter was serving a suspended sentence of eight weeks for aggravated vehicle taking and theft when the incident happened.

Trotter, of Lilac Avenue, Frawmwellgate, admitted wounding with intent, possession of an offensive weapon and affray.

Tony Davis, mitigating, said: “Perhaps it was unwise of the victim to continue to remonstrate as Mr Trotter was plainly still angry.

“He has now had the opportunity to reflect and he realises with his own incarceration for a significant period that your Honour will impose, his father will obviously no longer benefit from his son for a significant period.”

Judge Prince said: “You accept you went back in a rage and they were your own words.

“Your collected the knife and took it to the scene specifically to cause real serious harm.”

Trotter was sentenced to five years and four months in a Young Offenders’ Institution, with two years for affray, two years for possession of an offensive weapon and eight weeks for breaching his suspended sentence, all to run concurrently.