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Sam Blewett, Reporter
Friday, June 20, 2014
A man who nearly died after being stabbed by his housemate during a row over the washing up has described the judge’s decision to spare his attacker prison as “ridiculous”.
Jason Da Costa, 44, stabbed Colin Payne in the chest in home they shared in Kingsbridge Close, Harold Hill, in December.
Judge Ian Darling accepted the severity of the crime that “nearly killed” the victim but noted that the defendant, who has a history of mental health issues, had been turning his life around – and prison could jeopardise this.
Mr Payne said he was astonished by the sentence for the carving knife attack that left him struggling into the street “pumping” with blood to hail a passing car for help.
The victim, 41, who still lives where the attack took place, said: “It should have been attempted murder – It’s ridiculous.”
He said: “The nurses said I ‘died’ twice on the operating table but the life support machine was keeping me going and I was in a coma for two days. I was lucky I had top surgeons.”
Danny O’Brien, founder of Anti-Knife UK, said: “We are too soft on people. I am sorry he’s got a drink problem but he can have that dealt with inside prison. He should be serving a sentence.
“I can see that the judge is giving him a chance but if you stab somebody there should be punishment.”
Da Costa, of Ruthven Avenue, Waltham Cross, failed to turn up at the initial sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He turned up nearly two hours late after going missing two days previously from his sister’s home where he was supposed to be staying, the court heard.
He had relapsed and started drinking again after being sober for 20 months, apparently caused by the pressure of the prospect of being incarcerated.
A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said there was “insufficient” evidence to prove attempted murder where the prosecution must prove a “clear intention to kill”.
A guilty plea to unlawful wounding by Da Costa, of Ruthven Avenue, Waltham Cross, was accepted.