A PLEASANT evening out with friends ended horrifically for a young Carlisle man after he was stabbed by a ‘smiling stranger’.

The traumatised victim was left permanently scarred after 44-year-old Llewellyn Newth pursued him and his friends along a residential city street, attempting first to stab him in the stomach - and then slicing open his arm as he tried to defend himself.

At Carlisle Crown Court, Newth admitted intentionally wounding the man and carrying a knife in a public place without good reason.

He also pleaded guilty to a second violent attack on a woman during a family camping trip to the Lake District.

As he assaulted the woman at a camping site in Great Langdale, the woman's child was heard pleading with him, yelling: “Please don’t kill mum.”

Describing the Carlisle wounding offence, prosecutor Simon Blakebrough said that the victim and his friends had enjoyed a night out playing pool at the Hollywood Bowl bowling centre in Currock Road, Carlisle.

They left at 10pm, walking towards the city centre.

They had then realised that they were being followed by a man in a silver BMW - Newth, who was a complete stranger to them. At one point, he reversed, colliding with railings, to get alongside them.

Panicked, the group of friends jumped over a fence to escape him.

Newth was smiling ‘strangely’ at them, and then produced a knife, said the barrister. He made reference to cocaine - a reference that meant nothing to the group.

He ran towards the group, producing a knife from his sleeve, smiling as he did this. “[The victim] describes him trying to stab him in the stomach," said the barrister.

Attempting to defend himself, the man pushed away the defendant’s arm but as he did this Newth slashed his forearm.”

The man suffered a 10cm long gash, which had to be surgically repaired. When police arrested Newth later that evening, they recovered two knives. After it happened, the victim said what happened had been distrubing.

The second attack happened on August 21 last year.

Newth became aggressive, pushing a woman to the floor after she complained about him scaring her daughter.

He got her on to the floor, punching her face and grabbing her around her throat. At one point, he bit her finger. Fellow campers who heard the commotion intervened, restraining Newth until the police arrived.

While he was being restrained, he was heard to call out to one of his relatives: "Get an axe."

After the attack, the woman felt traumatised, the court heard. She described Newth as "unpredictable".

She said: "I believe if he had got hold of an axe he would have used it on everything and everyone. If those men had released him he would have gone beserk.

"It was a complete fit of rage."

Paul Tweddle, defending, said the defendant's behaviour was down to "severe psychological" issues which disinhibited him.

There was a recently established pattern of behaviour which escalated rapidly, said the lawyer.

Jailing Newth for five years, Judge Nicholas Barker said of the wounding victim: "[He] had been out for a pleasant evening with his friends, playing pool at the Hollywood Bowl. They left at a respectable hour - 10pm, only to come across you.

"That was [the victim's] great misfortune. He'd had nothing to do with you on that evening, or at all ever. You were a complete and utter stranger to him. You drove your car at speed close to them.

"There was no obvious reason. This appeared to them to be an entirely random, bizarre event. It was frightening and concerning to them.

"You were putting your thumb up and smiling at them. You then got out of your vehicle and moved towards them and as you did so you removed a knife from the sleeve of your coat."

The victim suffered a "significant" wound, said the judge.

Judge Barker added: "What is clear to me is that these assaults were closely connected to your mental health - bipolar, psychotic episodes."

This was aggravated to some degree by his use of alcohol. It was clear that during this period in 2020 the defendant was drinking too much though his mental health was in 'freefall' said the judge.

Lewellyn posed a "significant risk of causing serious harm" to members of the public, he said the judge, extending the defendant's licence period for two years after the expiry of his five year sentence.

The defendant will have to serve two thirds of the five year term before he is eligible for release, provided the parole board judge he is safe to be in the community.