Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Mother 'shopped son over frenzied knife attack'

A mother turned her son in to the police after he confessed to a frenzied knife attack on a 14-year-old girl, a jury heard today.

Jessica Knight was stabbed around 20 times in a park in Astley Village, Chorley, Lancashire, in January and was discovered bleeding by passers-by.

French national Kristofer Beddar, 21, of Daisy Hill Drive, Adlington, Chorley, was living with members of his English family at the time of the incident.

Preston Crown Court heard that after watching a television news report about the stabbing the evening after the attack, Beddar told his mother: "I think it was me, Mum."

Marion Beddar took her son to the local police station that night and told an officer at the counter: "This is my son. I have brought him in. He is responsible for the stabbing."

Beddar, who denies a charge of attempted murder, claims to have no recollection of the attack after drinking a half bottle of Jack Daniels that afternoon.

The court heard that Beddar did manage to text his mother minutes before or after the stabbing occurred, however, to inform her that he would not be home for tea.

Prosecuting, William Waldron QC, said: "The defendant accepts that in causing the injuries he did, there must have been an intention to cause serious harm to Jessica, but he denies he was attempting to murder her.

"The Crown rejects that denial. Our case is straightforward. The defendant's attack of amnesia for the critical moment is borne out of convenience and for no other reason."

Mr Waldron said that the amount of alcohol Beddar claims to have consumed before the attack was "modest" and "nowhere near enough" to be considered a factor.

"We submit that that suggestion is fanciful and borne out of a desire to withhold the truth."

The barrister added: "He had lost his temper for some reason or other as he was prone to do, and having done so perpetrated a frenzied attack upon Jessica Knight, being unable to stop once he had started."

The court heard that days before the January 21 attack, Beddar's 12-week contract with a local Tesco store had finished and not been renewed.

Beddar told police that on the day of the stabbing he had visited his local job centre and after purchasing the whiskey, taken it to the park and drank it.

After the incident, he returned home and went up to his room. The court heard that despite a faint smell of alcohol, his family did not consider him to be drunk.

The following day, the 21-year-old took the clothing he had been wearing at the time of the attack and threw it under a bridge near his home. One training shoe was later found nearby and another was discovered in a canal.

That evening, after watching a segment about Jessica's attack on the news, Beddar retreated to his room and later made the confession to his mother.

During a break from police interviews after his arrest, the court heard that the defendant told a detention officer he drank a lot on the day of the attack and "knew he had done something bad but didn't know how to stop".

Mr Waldron said that Beddar had a bad temper which could quickly flare up and then subside.

The court heard that a number of employees from Beddar's former workplaces could recall incidents where he had lost his temper or behaved aggressively.

"They provide an insight into his character, the character of a man who we say must have become aggressive and snapped on the night of the attack and, for whatever reason, taken his temper out on Jessica Knight," Mr Waldron said.

Jessica, now 15, had finished school for the day and was walking through the park listening to her iPod on her way to meet a friend.

She was stabbed around 20 times and sustained life-threatening wounds to her neck, abdominal area and chest.

In an interview read out in court today, Jessica told police she remembered very little about the attack but recalled being on the ground and feeling pain worse than she had ever experienced before.

"I had my eyes shut, it was total blank," she said.

The teenager was discovered bleeding in the park by Gareth Crook, who was cycling home from work.

Mr Crook, a former soldier, tended to Jessica and used his gloves to stem the flow of blood spurting from a neck wound before the emergency services arrived and rushed her to Chorley Hospital for surgery.

"Kristofer Beddar left Jessica Knight lying face down, alone in the dark, bleeding to death from his savage attack on her," Mr Waldron said.

"He literally left her for dead. Had it not been for the timely appearance of Gareth Crook, we submit she would have died."

Gareth Crook told the court he was cycling through the park when he saw a silhouette of a body on the ground.

"I saw a girl lying face down on the path, I stopped to look closer and discovered that someone was in trouble. She was bleeding."

He continued: "I first saw the wound on the face near the eye and later I realised the blood must be coming from somewhere else.

"There was that much of it and later I realised it was coming from the neck."

Mr Crook told a passerby to ring for an ambulance and used his bicycle light to survey the extent of Jessica's injuries.

Blood was "squirting" from the victim's neck and Mr Crook said he applied pressure to the wound using his glove.

Shortly afterwards police and paramedics arrived to help the injured teenager.