A MAN who randomly attacked three people with knives in broad daylight during a Cumbrian town centre “rampage” has been jailed for 20 years.
Friends Thomas Ismay and Peter Ostle were stood chatting outside a Chinese takeaway on Wigton’s King Street on July 31 when blade-wielding Richard Moulton approached. Mr Ostle, 71, recalled seeing bald-headed Moulton walking towards them from Station Road, saying to 63-year-old Mr Ismay: “Here, you take that you bastard.” Mr Ismay stated: “I’ve been stabbed.”
At that point Mr Ostle realised he’d been knifed as well – twice to the chest – saying: “He’s slashed me.” As 50-year-old Moulton calmly walked away, his victims went towards the nearby Spotted Cow Cafe, Mr Ostle asking: “Can someone get the police and ambulance? We’ve both been stabbed.”
Two other men – including one on holiday with his children – helped the injured pair, who received first aid and were airlifted to separate hospitals.
Moulton then attacked 66-year-old tourist Gill Lloyd, who was with her husband on their first visit to Wigton, flicking one knife towards her and cutting her hand.
Mr Ostle was operated on by a surgeon who concluded one serious wound would have required “significant energy at the start of the stabbing”. Mr Ostle said in an impact statement: “I still have constant pain from the injuries I sustained. It prevents me doing the things I take for granted every day.”
Mr Ismay spoke of initially believing he’d been punched, but after lifting his T-shirt, later graphically recalled he could “literally see my stomach hanging out; it was right there held in my hands”. He had two inches of bowel removed during surgery, had talked since of being left “traumatised” and stated: “I am a different person. I will never be the same again.”
Immediately after the attacks, agitated Moulton met a school friend, confessing he’d done “bad things” having recently lost his job and facing eviction from his Redmayne Court flat in the town. “There was a helicopter overhead,” prosecutor Tim Evans told Durham Crown Court today (FRI). “The defendant told his friend it would be for him because of the things he had done.”
After being arrested, Moulton told police: “Things got too much for me. I have lost everything. I am so sorry.” He added: “I did not mean all this fuss.”
Described today as being “horrified” by his offending, Moulton admitted attempting to murder Mr Ostle; wounding Mr Ismay with intent to cause grievous bodily harm; an actual bodily harm assault on Mrs Lloyd; and illegal possession of two kitchen knives.
He was sentenced today (FRI) by Judge James Adkin, who imposed a 20-year jail term and a five-year extended licence period for what he called “life-threatening, entirely random violence.”
“On July 31, you went on the rampage in Wigton and took it into your hands to attack complete strangers,” said Judge Adkin, who concluded Moulton was “clearly a dangerous offender”. “Quite what the motivation was remains unclear.”
Detective Sergeant Tom Windridge said: “Moulton has today received a significant jail term for crimes including attempted murder.
“But for the efforts of medical professionals and the swift and effective work of the air ambulance, this incident could easily have resulted in two people losing their lives.
“I would like to praise the efforts of members of the Wigton public that day.
“The woman who was attacked acted bravely and calmly in what must have been a terrifying situation whilst her husband acted with a calm head in calling police and providing a detailed description to officers.
“The old school friend acted courageously in talking to Moulton and keeping him in one place, at an obvious risk to himself, whilst the police constables who responded acted swiftly and efficiently to end the incident and bring Moulton under arrest.”