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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Cumbrian man who stabbed ‘Elvis’ jailed for knife attack

A man who stabbed an Elvis Presley impersonator in the stomach with a kitchen knife has been sent to prison for three years.

Mark David Appleton photo
Mark David Appleton, of Whitehaven: Jailed for three years after being convicted of unlawful wounding

Pizza delivery man Mark Appleton, 23, attacked entertainer – and alleged drug dealer – Paul Cameron after being warned he would himself be beaten up if he failed to pay a drugs debt, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

When Mr Cameron turned up in his car outside his house in Snebro Road, Whitehaven, on the afternoon of January 19, Appleton decided to sort things out once and for all.

So he fetched a vegetable knife from his kitchen, then went outside and got into Mr Cameron's car, where he stabbed him once in the abdomen.

Mr Cameron fled – even though the knife had penetrated his bowel – and Appleton returned to the house to tell his mother to call the police.

He then helped officers trace the man he had injured, to ensure he received the urgent medical attention he required.

Appleton denied unlawfully wounding Mr Cameron, claiming he had acted only in self-defence, thinking he was going to be kidnapped over the drug debt. But last month a jury found him guilty on a unanimous verdict.

Passing sentence on him yesterday Judge Paul Batty QC said he accepted that Appleton had been “getting grief” from Mr Cameron over money he owed him for drugs.

But he said: “Those who get themselves involved in the taking of illegal substances, and who ratchet up drug debts as you did... unfortunately this is the sort of situation that can arise. There was absolutely no reason for you to arm yourself with a knife.”

In mitigation, defence barrister Elizabeth Muir said Appleton should be given credit for helping to ensure that Mr Cameron got medical help.

She said her client had been “extremely frightened” about the threats that had been made to him about what would happen if he failed to pay the debt to Mr Cameron.

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