Teenager who tried to kill three women in Portsmouth appeals jail term

Scene of Crime Officers at the scene of an attack in a pathway between Northern Road and Colwell Road in Cosham
Scene of Crime Officers at the scene of an attack in a pathway between Northern Road and Colwell Road in Cosham
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  • Ben Moynihan, 18, was convicted of three counts of attemtped murder after stabbing three women
  • He jailed by a judge for 21 years after his trial
  • Now legal team have lodged appeal against the sentence
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TEENAGE knifeman Ben Moynihan is appealing the 21-year jail term he received for stabbing three women in a bid to murder them.

The 18-year-old’s attacks on the women, aged 20, 45 and 67, wrought terror in Portsmouth last summer as he left letters mocking police hunting him.

Ben said to us when the sentence was passed he had to hold on because he was shaking so much. He was shocked

Keiren Moynihan

His father Keiren Moynihan, 45, told The News he only expects a reduction of one or two years.

Mr Moynihan said: ‘Ben said to us when the sentence was passed he had to hold on because he was shaking so much. He was shocked.

‘We were shocked with how long he got. We’re hoping that he gets a year or two knocked off.’

Mr Moynihan did not seek to minimise or defend his son’s crimes but said it was effectively a life sentence.

He said: ‘For his 18th I was going to take him on a flight over Portsmouth, for his 21st I can’t do nothing. That’s his life gone. There’s obviously something wrong there and he needs some kind of help – mental help, psychiatric help.’

And he said in visits and phone calls with his son that he changes his story as to why he carried out the attacks in Cosham and Wymering on June 20, June 29 and July 11.

Moynihan, of The Ridings, Hilsea, was arrested by uniformed officers at Portsbridge Roundabout on July 13, two days after his last attack.

Mr Moynihan told how his son has been moved from Winchester prison and his family now receive a call a week from him.

When he was first arrested his mother, stepmother and father had to visit the teenager in his cell at Feltham Young Offenders Institution as he was deemed too dangerous to go to the visiting block.

Mr Moynihan said: ‘He’s got his head down, he’s put in to do his education courses to better himself.’

He is limited in what he can do as he is not allowed sharp objects but has put in for a gardening course.

In January, jurors at his trial in Winchester Crown Court heard how he kept a ‘diary of evil’ and recorded a video in his bedroom saying he targeted women as he was still a virgin. Each victim suffered a single stab wound to the breast, the court heard.

Moynihan’s first letter, left at the scene of the second stabbing, said: ‘I’m not a psychopath, I’m the unhappy geezer’.

His second letter, left on a police van, included a photograph of himself and mocked police saying: ‘CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!’

Moynihan has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other mental health issues and his family said he has not received help in prison.

At his sentencing hearing, the judge, Mr Justice Jay, said these conditions were at the ‘heart of his offending’ and that Moynihan is ‘extremely dangerous’.

After the trial that saw Moynihan convicted of three counts of attempted murder Mr Justice Jay imposed a 21-year term for each count to run concurrent. The appeal is currently with a single judge at the Court of Appeal who will decide if a full hearing can go ahead.