Man who stabbed stranger jailed for eight years as figures reveal three arrests a week for knife crime
- Credit: Archant
A man was jailed for eight years on Monday for stabbing a stranger – on the day Cambridgeshire police revealed knife crime in the county rose 58 per cent in a year.
In Cambridgeshire, offences involving knives or sharp instruments rose from 908 incidents in 2018 to 1,436 incidents in 2019.
Between January and October this year there have been 1,178 offences.
On average, officers are arresting three people a week in Cambridgeshire for knife related offences (168 in 2018, 199 in 2019 and 168 between Jan-Oct 2020).
The latest offender to be jailed was Jerfi Breen, 25, of Sackville Close, Cambridge, who knifed a stranger after a house party spilled out onto the street.
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Breen was hosting the party at his sister’s house on September 27 last year.
Just before 1.30am police found a man who had been stabbed in the chest and cuts to an arm and finger.
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The man suffered a collapsed lung because of the stab wound and had to spend several days in hospital.
He later confirmed that Breen was the man he had been fighting with and that he remembered being hit on the head with a pole and what he thought was punched in the chest.
However, he soon realised he had been stabbed and was bleeding.
Breen denied stabbing the man and instead claimed he was attacked with a pole by the victim and fell unconscious.
He claimed he may have punched the man but did not remember much apart from being handcuffed at the scene.
Breen was later charged with causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent. He initially denied the offence but changed his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial at Peterborough Crown Court (November 9).
Breen admitted the offence with a basis of plea that he was forced to defend himself initially as the brawl broke out.
He was sentenced on the same day to a total of eight years in prison.
Detective Sergeant Graham Newton said: “This fantastic result comes as a relief to the victim and witnesses, who can now put this behind them.
“Luckily, the victim has made a full recovery but the consequences of the stabbing could have been so much worse. It was nothing short of a brutal attack and this case highlights the dangers of carrying a knife or weapon.
“Knife crime is a priority for the force and we will continue to work tirelessly to take weapons off the streets.”
Breen’s sentencing comes as a week-long operation to tackle knife crime gets under way.
The force will be conducting knife sweeps, talking to retailers about selling to young people and educating children through virtual presentations about the dangers of carrying knives.
Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can report it here or anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/
Superintendent Robin Sissons said: “While offences involving knives has risen, Cambridgeshire’s figures are still below the national average and in line with a rise in offences across the country.
“It’s simple; knives ruin lives.”
There will also be a live question and answer session on the force Facebook page on Thursday at 7pm (November 12) where the public can find out more about knife crime.
Supt Sissons said: “People carrying knives, particularly young people, do so without understanding the real consequences of using them, the devastation it can cause to those who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, nor the impact on the families who have lost loved ones.
“We’d like to urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to stop. That one conversation could be life changing and that one small action could be enough to save a life.”
It is illegal to:
Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old
Carry a knife in a public place without good reason – unless it is a knife with a folding blade three inches long or less e.g., a Swiss Army knife
Carry, buy, or sell any type of banned knife
Use any knife in a threatening way
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.