Jail for man who stabbed fellow train passenger in Canonbury

A man who stabbed a fellow train passenger in the chest for bumping into him on a train has been jailed for three years and four months.

Paul Beckles, 44, of no fixed abode, pulled a knife out of a carrier bag and plunged it into his victim’s chest and abdomen on an Overground service between Dalston and Canonbury on April 4 last year.

The rampage began after the two men slightly collided with each other as they boarded the train through the same doors at Dalston Kingsland station.

Beckles, who had been seen talking aggressively on his mobile phone before the train arrived, started swearing and making threats to the 36-year-old victim. He walked away and sat down in the carriage only to be confronted with a knife Beckles had pulled from a plastic bag and was stabbed twice.

As the service pulled into Canonbury, the victim got off the train but was closely followed by his attacker who only fled after another struggle at the top of the stairs at the station.

BTP detectives were alerted and swiftly seized CCTV which was circulated to the media, with many members of the public calling to identify Beckles which led to his arrest.

He appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court on Friday having pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm (ABH) and possession of an offensive weapon at an earlier hearing, and was sentenced to 20 months in prison for each charge.

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Investigating officer, Det Con Tony Gittins, said: “This was a brutal and callous act of violence which could have far worse, if not fatal, consequences.

“Weapon-related crime, although rare on public transport, affects victims, their families and their communities and that is why we have a duty both to the victims and the public to take a tough approach to those who are caught carrying and using knives and to protect the vast majority of people who don’t.

“We welcome this strong sentence handed down to Beckles and hope it will reinforce the message that the consequences for those who carry and use knives or other weapons are severe.”

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