St Albans man jailed for attempted murder

Craig Sutherland

Craig Sutherland - Credit: Archant

A St Albans man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after he stabbed another man 12 times.

Craig Sutherland, 40, of Townsend Avenue, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, October 6 for attempted murder. On top of his 17-year sentence, he was given a further five years on extended license.

Last year, on the night of Monday, September 12, Sutherland repeatedly stabbed 46-year-old Verinder Rajput, known as Vinnie.

During the attack, which took place inside Sutherland’s flat, the victim suffered 12 stab wounds to his back, neck, head, hands and torso, perforating some of his vital organs. He also suffered a fractured jaw.

Emergency services gave Mr Rajput life-saving treatment at the scene and he spent two months in hospital recovering.

On the night of the attack Sutherland and Mr Rajput, who had known each other for more than a decade, had been drinking alcohol when an argument broke out.

When police arrived at the flat, Sutherland barricaded himself in the living room. He was still armed with a knife and threatening to cause further damage to Mr Rajput. The police forced their way in and detained Sutherland, who was kneeling over Mr Rajput with a knife in his hand.

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Sutherland was found guilty of attempted murder on Thursday, July 6, following a three-week trial.

Det Insp Pushpa Guild from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “When officers arrived at Sutherland’s flat he was threatening to cause further harm to his victim and it was only the quick actions of officers and paramedics that saved Mr Rajput’s life.

“Today, Mr Rajput continues to recover from the significant injuries he suffered at the hands of Sutherland.

“This lengthy sentence reflects the violent and sustained attack that was carried out by Sutherland.”

Robbie Weber, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “We have worked closely with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the police and prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved.

“The CPS and police are committed to protecting the public from violent criminals and will continue to vigorously prosecute all such offenders.

“Today’s sentence should act as a deterrent to others that violence will simply not be tolerated in our communities.

“We know that nothing can undo what happened to the victim, but we hope that the conviction and today’s sentence bring him at least a small sense that justice has been done.

“We also hope that the victim, who has shown great courage throughout this process, continues with his recovery. Our thoughts are very much with him at this time.”