Brutal stab attack - victim thought he was going to die

Craig Roberts

Craig Roberts - Credit: supplied

A JEALOUS ex-boyfriend has been sent to prison for a ‘brutal, cowardly and premeditated’ attack which left a young man with serious stab wounds and long-term psychological scars.

Craig Roberts had planned his assault on his ex-girlfriend, Zoe Waterson, and Matt Evans, after he learnt they planned to go on a date.

Roberts organised a lift to Portishead and, after Zoe and Matt had been for a drink at The Poacher pub in the town’s High Street, waited for them to return to her Glebe Avenue home.

There he launched an ‘intensely violent’ assault, stabbing Matt multiple times before his victim was able to lock himself in the bathroom and call 999.

On January 30, Roberts, aged 29, of Churchill Avenue, Clevedon, appeared at Bristol Crown Court charged with wounding with intent and was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison, plus an extra three years on licence. However, Matt’s family have hit out at the sentence, which could mean Roberts is released in just six years.

His mum, 44-year-old Karen Evans, who has since contacted the Attorney General’s office to request the sentence is reconsidered, said: “I think it is disgusting. He could later be released to do exactly the same to someone else.

“As the court said it considers him a dangerous offender, the sentence is just too lenient.”

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Zoe and Matt were old school friends and had arranged to go for a drink at The Poacher on October 5.

While there, Matt received a phone call from an unknown number and heard a voice, now known to be Roberts, say ‘you’re a dead man’.

Roberts also sent a barrage of text messages to Zoe saying “you’re going to lose everything”, “I’m gonna enjoy this” and “I can’t wait to go back inside.”

When the couple later arrived back at Zoe’s flat, Matt followed her in but then felt a sudden sharp pain in his back and turned to see Roberts. He fell to the floor, where Roberts stabbed him again, twice in the abdomen.

Matt ran to the front door but was stabbed again before he was able to lock himself in the bathroom.

The attack left the 23-year-old with two stab wounds to the abdomen, one to the shoulder, one in his thigh and a superficial head wound.

He was taken to Frenchay Hospital at around 2am on October 6 where it was discovered the knife had lacerated his liver and caused air and blood to fill his chest.

He underwent an operation to remove a blood clot from his lung and had a blood transfusion. He remained in hospital for 12 days.

In a statement read to the court, Matt, a landscape gardener, said the attack had left him ‘psychologically scarred and his life in tatters’.

He said: “The attack has left me with serious injuries and I thought I was going to die.

“It was so quick, out-of-the-blue and intensely violent, I have struggled to come to terms with what happened and be able to move on.

“I am fearful of Roberts and deeply worried about him being released from prison.”

During last week’s hearing, it was revealed Roberts had a long list of previous convictions, including incidents involving girlfriends, ex-girlfriends and their partners.

While in a relationship with Zoe, he had been violent toward her and at the time of the October attack was subject to a restraining order preventing him from contacting her.

According to Harry Ahuja, defending, Roberts had been taking anti-depressants at the time and said he now appreciated Matthew was an innocent party.

Sentencing Roberts, Judge Michael Longman said: “Mr Evans was entirely innocent.

“You attacked him in a way which was brutal, cowardly and premeditated.

“You stabbed him in the shoulder and when he was completely powerless to resist you gratuitously and maliciously stabbed him again.”

As part of his sentence, Roberts was also given a restraining order preventing him from contacting Matthew and he was also ordered to pay a £120 surcharge.