Man found guilty of stabbing

A MAN has been found guilty of stabbing a stranger in a Redditch street and sentenced to five years in jail.

Nebil Menjeli, aged 34, denied carrying out the attack near his home in Mount Street and pleaded not guilty to unlawfully wounding with intent but was convicted on a 10-2 majority verdict.

Peter Arnold, prosecuting, told a jury at Worcester Crown Court that the victim, Paul Wiggins, had been out with his girlfriend and a group of other friends on Friday, September 7, 2012, to a town centre pub and a kebab shop.

They were waiting for someone on the corner of Mount Street and Marsden Road at about 9.15pm when they noticed a man nearby "acting strangely". One of the group asked him what he was doing and without warning he produced a serrated knife and stabbed Mr Wiggins in the stomach before pulling out the knife and running off.

Mr Wiggins did not realise he had been stabbed at first but then lost consciousness and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The wound was four cm deep but had missed vital organs and he was released the next day.

Following descriptions given by witnesses, police arrested Menjeli, originally from Tunisia, who followed the court proceedings through an Arabic interpreter.

He told police he often got involved in arguments in the town but said he did not recognise Mr Wiggins

He said he had left work at 1pm on the Friday in question and had drunk eight pints before going home at 8pm and watching TV. He did not go out again because he planned to see his children the following morning.

Danny Smith, defending, said the knife had not been found and there was no forensic evidence linking Menjeli to the attack. He said still CCTV images from a camera on nearby Smallwood Alms Houses showed a man running from the scene but he did not match Menjeli's description.

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