Portsmouth man jailed for ramming pen into friend’s ear

Police custody picture of Jason Richards
Police custody picture of Jason Richards

People told not to be alarmed by armed police officers on patrol

  • Court is told attacker had become ‘infatuated’ with victim’s sister
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VIOLENT Jason Richards has been jailed after stabbing his best friend in the ear and chest.

The 45-year-old ‘flew into a rage’ and rammed a pen into David Cooper’s ear before plunging a knife into his chest, Portsmouth Crown Court was told.

A judge heard Mr Cooper was woken up in the middle of the night by an angry Richards, who had found e-mails on his friend’s mobile phone.

The e-mails were between Richards and Mr Cooper’s sister, who Richards was hoping to start a serious relationship with.

Defence barrister Stephen Parish said: ‘The e-mails he had been sending to Mr Cooper’s sister were somehow on his phone.

‘He was angry and confused and wondered whether he had been talking to him (Mr Cooper) all along.’

The court was told Mr Cooper told Richards ‘there’s no way you will get with her’.

Tammy Mears, prosecuting, said: ‘He totally lost it – like a man possessed.’

Richards, who was staying at Mr Cooper’s flat in London Road, North End, punched his friend numerous times and then picked up a pen and thrust it into his left ear, puncturing the ear drum.

He then stabbed Mr Cooper in the chest, puncturing his lung, before starting to strangle him, the court heard. A terrified Mr Cooper ran into the street to call for help.

Ms Mears said: ‘By the time police and ambulance arrived, they could clearly see Mr Cooper in the middle of the road holding his chest with his face covered in blood.’

The court heard Richards fled the scene, but returned later that morning to find a police officer standing guard outside the flat.

Richards told the officer ‘Are you stupid? It was me. I did it’ before resisting arrest and calling the officer a racist word.

Mr Cooper required surgery after the attack on June 28. Richards, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and using racist words.

Judge Sarah Munro QC sentenced him to eight years in jail, plus another six months for the racism.

She said the frenzied violence started after seeing the mobile phone.

‘Seeing that caused you to fly into a rage,’ she said.

‘You showed him his phone and then made the decision to hurt him very seriously.’

She said Richards had become ‘infatuated’ with Mr Cooper’s sister.