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Man sentenced to 18 years after attempted murder in Chatham

A man has been jailed for public protection after attempting to stab a Medway teenager to death.

Peter Barton
Peter Barton

Peter Barton claimed he was a good Samaritan who was helping grievously injured Sam Cook, but in reality he was a jealous love rival who stalked and lay in wait for his victim and attacked him from behind.

He was convicted of attempted murder at Canterbury Crown Court and returned on Thursday, where he received an indeterminate sentence. Judge James O’Mahony told Barton, 40, he would have to serve a minimum of nine years before the Parole Board would consider whether it was safe to release him.

Barton, of Railway Street, Gillingham, was jealous and possessive of his former girlfriend Claire Pinchen and made threats against Samuel Cook when she formed a relationship with him.

Mr Cook, who was 19 at the time of the attack, was walking home in the early hours last December after seeing Claire and was attacked in the Alamein Avenue and Magpie Hall Road area of Chatham.

Barton had borrowed his parents’ Ford Focus that night, put a duvet and shovel in the car, armed himself with a knife and lay in wait for Mr Cook.

He stabbed his victim several times then pretended to call an ambulance on Mr Cook’s phone but kept pressing the cancel button. As Mr Cook tried to get help from nearby houses Barton dragged him away and tried to lure him to his car.

Mr Cook was only half an hour from death when he managed to flag down a passing police patrol and get help. Barton then pretended he’d come across the injured man and was trying to help.

Mr Cook suffered wounds to his back, chest and under his arm.

Barton’s defence was that he had been taking methadone, heroin and crack, smoked joints and was out the area that night to buy more drugs from his dealer. He lied to police because he didn’t want his car searched because he had 'weed’ in it and denied stabbing Mr Cook.

Although Barton had previous drug related convictions, he had no history of violence.

Sentencing Barton, Judge O’Mahony said: "It was a cowardly and vicious attack from behind with you further pretending to be a good Samaritan but getting him away from where he would get help."

He ruled Barton to be dangerous and the public to be at risk of serious harm from future specified offences he may commit. He said had he passed a determinate sentence it would have been 18 years and ruled 335 days on remand count towards the sentence.

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