Published: 12:38, 11 December 2018
| Updated: 15:38, 11 December 2018
A teenage thug who went out armed with a knife to stab a rival drug dealer and ended up seriously wounding an innocent man has been locked up for 20 years.
An extended sentence was passed on 19-year-old Jordan Ash, following his conviction for attempted murder, after a judge found he was “extremely dangerous”.
He will have to serve two thirds of the sentence – just over 13 years – before he will be considered for release and will be on licence for a further three years.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Ash, of no fixed address, was with two others when he went looking for another dealer in the same street where victim Gerald Edwards lived.
Mr Edwards, 59, and his family had been watching Coronation Street at their Victorian terraced home in Vicarage Road, Strood, on Friday, September 29 last year when their living room window was smashed with a plank.
He went out to confront the vandals, asking “What do you think you are doing?” Ash then stabbed him on his doorstep three times with a 6in blade in an “underarm motion” to the abdomen.
Mr Edwards needed surgery to remove his spleen and part of his pancreas. His liver was also lacerated.
His son Christopher, 19, heard the commotion and dragged his bleeding father back into the house.
He was forcing the front door shut when Ash thrust the knife through a stained glass panel and sliced the palm of his right hand.
Ash denied attempted murder, unlawful wounding and having a bladed article, but was convicted by a jury in September.
He was already serving 27 months for affray involving a stabbing in a KFC takeaway in Brighton.
"I told Lucy I loved her and to look after our children..." Gerald Edwards
Mr Edwards told in a statement that the teenage used “a great deal of force” to stab him in three different parts of his abdomen.
"I thought he had hit me with a baton because it didn't feel like a punch,” he said. “It hurt so much I knew I was done for and had no fight in me."
Back in the house, blood was pouring through his top and he realised he had been stabbed. His wife Lucy was screaming and distressed as a neighbour gave him first aid.
"Everything after this was all a blur, but I remember shouting out 'I have just got to keep alive',” he said. "I told Lucy I loved her and to look after our children because I really thought I was going to die."
Judge Charles Macdonald QC told Ash, who has 15 previous convictions for 35 offences involving violence, drugs, and dishonesty, the attack was “savage and immediate” and there was overwhelming evidence he was dangerous.
“I find there is a significant risk he will reoffend violently and cause serious harm to members of the public,” said the judge.
“Remorse, I don’t accept. The stabbing was prolonged. This is a case of long term physical harm to Gerald Edwards.
“The defendant now admits he went out armed with a knife with two supporters to stab a rival drug dealer. It is extremely probable he mistook Gerald Edwards for a man living nearby who had a connection to drugs.
“The evidence shows the attack was almost immediate and vicious with nothing worthy of the name of provocation and resistance. The jury accepted that at the time he stabbed him three times he intended to kill him.”
"I find there is a significant risk he will reoffend violently and cause serious harm to members of the public..." Judge Charles Macdonald QC
Judge Macdonald said he believed it was “virtually inconceivable” there was any spontaneity about the attack.
“This was an attack in the home,” he continued. “There was substantial victim impact. Gerald Edwards said he thought he was going to die. The defendant was on drugs at the very least and under the influence of alcohol.”
Brian Shaw, defending, said no excuses or any reasonable explanation could be offered on Ash’s behalf for the offences. All he could offer, he said, was an apology to the Edwards family.
“He makes it clear there was no intention to kill anybody, but there was to stab,” said Mr Shaw. “There was no force used against him. He didn’t have to defend himself.
“It is difficult to ask for leniency in a case such as this, but I do ask for a degree of mercy.”
Mr Shaw said Ash suffered abuse as a child and his misbehaviour then began.
“He is a very young man,” he added. “The years ahead behind bars would weigh heavily on anybody. It will weigh even more heavily as the months and years roll past.
“He will have time to reflect on what he has done and the position he finds himself in. He doesn’t seek to suggest the jury was wrong or mistaken. He accepts and acknowledges his offending that night.”
Ash will start his sentence in a young offenders’ institute and then be transferred to an adult prison at the age of 21. He will only be released at the two thirds point if the parole board considers he is no longer a danger to the public.