Man found guilty of attempting to murder woman in Portsmouth street

Police outside Barclays Bank in London Road, North End, on Julu 9, 2016, after a woman was stabbed. Picture: Loughlan Campbell PPP-170418-093131001
Police outside Barclays Bank in London Road, North End, on Julu 9, 2016, after a woman was stabbed. Picture: Loughlan Campbell PPP-170418-093131001
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A MAN has been found guilty of the attempted murder of a woman after plunging a knife into her back in a busy street.

Dler Mohammed plunged the kitchen knife into Diana Pranskuniene’s back after hiding the blade nearby.

The 43-year-old attacked just moments after the terrified 36-year-old victim abandoned a 999 call prompted when he confronted her in the street.

Mohammed, of no fixed address, denied attempted murder over the July 9 attack outside Barclays Bank in London Road, North End.

Jurors had watched CCTV played at Portsmouth Crown Court showing the moment he plunged the kitchen knife into the back of Ms Pranskuniene, who lived with his brother.

The eight men and four women of the jury took just 68 minutes to find him guilty of attempted murder.

Standing in the high-security dock Mohammed stood open-mouthed as the jury returned their verdict.

Prosecutor Stephen Parish had told the court the defendant had ‘grabbed’ the victim in London Road, and said he wanted to speak to her, saying: ‘Why do you hate me? Why are you destroying my life?’

She started to call 999 and Mohammed ran off towards Poundland, just past Laburnum Grove and next to Sainsbury’s, Mr Parish said.

He added: ‘Shortly afterwards – she puts it at a minute – she felt a huge bang in the back, she was still holding the phone.

‘She felt numb and out of breath and she collapsed in a sitting position on the pavement.

‘She didn’t realise that she had been stabbed until she was in the ambulance and there was in fact a knife in her back, embedded up to the hilt.’

Jurors heard Mohammed was seen at 8.58am leaving a drinks bottle behind the delivery gates at Sainsbury’s, before the attack at 3.24pm.

Mr Parish said: ‘The significance of all that of course is that the prosecution says the defendant must have planned the attack well in advance.

‘He’d gone to Sainsbury’s in the morning to hide the knife.’

He added: ‘He waits for Diana near the top of her road. When he encounters her he runs back to retrieve the knife and stabs her.

‘Members of the jury, the crown say that the location of the injury, the depth of the wound, is consistent only with an intention to kill.’

Giving evidence yesterday, Mohammed told jurors: ‘I was angry and I didn’t know what I was doing,’ adding: ‘I lost my mind. ‘I had the intention to scare her only but I do not know what happened.

Mr Parish said Mohammed ran across London Road between cars before he was confronted by members of the public in Derby Road.

‘(Darren) Shuker heard someone say “why did you stab her?” and the defendant said “I kill her, I kill her”, something along the lines of “I’m better off without her”,’ Mr Parish said.

Mr Parish said the defendant had initially pretended to be his brother, who was then also arrested.

The defendant told police in Derby Road ‘my brother told me to stab her’ but later said ‘I put the knife in’.

Scans taken of Ms Pranskuniene showing the knife in her back were shown to the jury. She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, where a CT scan showed the knife displaced the sixth and seventh ribs, with the blade tip close to the posterior intercostal artery.

Medics transferred her to Southampton General Hospital where the surgeons removed the knife under general anaesthetic.

Mr Parish said pathologist Dr Basil Purdue said: ‘This knife could perfectly well have punctured the chest cavity or reached a major blood vessel such at the aorta, with serious or catastrophic results.’

Judge Sarah Munro QC remanded Mohammed in custody ahead of sentencing on Monday.