Student 'watched terror videos before stabbing girlfriend'

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A university student watched terrorist videos before smashing his way into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbing her in the back after she began a new relationship, a court heard today.

Barry Nason, 26, of Raglan Street, Hull, carried out the life-threatening attack on February 12 this year after he discovered German student Birgit Massam had a new boyfriend, Hull Crown Court heard.

The "jealous" student watched video footage, including beheadings, terrorist training exercises and petrol bombings, to "beef himself up" before dressing in an Army uniform and arming himself with an axe and a knife.

He went to Miss Massam's house and smashed the patio doors with the axe before stabbing her in the back with the knife.

Surgeons who operated on the victim said she was "fortunate" not to have died as a result of her injury.

Nason, who is originally from Ireland, was charged with attempted murder but earlier this year pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of wounding with intent, which was accepted by the prosecution.

Today, the court heard Miss Massam moved to Hull in 2006 to study law at the university and met Nason shortly after arriving in the city.

The relationship ended in March 2007 but the pair continued to see each other casually and remained friends. Nason tried to rekindle the relationship the following year but Miss Massam refused.

Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, said the defendant, who was described as "having a jealous nature", telephoned the victim frequently, went to her house in the early hours of the morning and made threats against her brother.

Ms Robinson said: "Miss Massam was extremely distressed by this and felt he was playing mind games with her."

Miss Massam told Nason about her new relationship in February this year and thought he had taken the news "well".

But, Ms Robinson said, on the evening of the attack, the victim saw Nason in a nightclub, where he told her: "I'm going to find out who he is and because of you and him I'm going to kill myself."

The prosecutor said Miss Massam was later woken by the sound of smashing glass and found the defendant climbing through the patio doors to her bedroom, wearing a camouflage jacket and carrying the axe. He pulled the knife from a sheath around his waist and she felt the knife hit her back.

The court heard Miss Massam's housemate came into the room, saw the victim on the floor in the foetal position with blood "pumping out" of the wound and said Nason "appeared to crumple".

The surgeon who operated on Miss Massam said it was "astonishing" the knife had not hit any vital organs and said the "considerable" level of force could have killed her, Ms Robinson told the court.

The barrister said police officers found that, minutes before Nason left his home, he carried out an internet search for "no mercy for Russians" - a colour video of six Russian conscripts being beheaded by Chechen rebels.

He also watched footage of confrontations between the IRA and the British Army and listened to heavy metal music.

Ms Robinson said, when Nason was asked by police why he watched the videos, he said it was to "beef himself up".

"He wanted to make himself feel hard and important," she said.

"Watching terrorist training exercises and petrol bombings made him feel strong."

Nason told police he wore the Army jacket "to make himself feel like a hard man".

The case was adjourned until tomorrow for sentencing.