A cowardly thug who left a fitness competitor scarred for life in a knife attack has been jailed for almost nine years.

Cash machine at Seoul Plaza, Selly Oak

The 27 year old fitness competitor, Will Flint, was travelling by taxi in the early hours of New Year’s Day when he was attacked at around 3.30am by 18 year old Aidan Morrissey after stopping to use a the cash machine outside Seoul Plaza, Selly Oak.

Morrissey, of Billbrook Grove in Weoley Castle, repeatedly stabbed Mr Flint at the Bristol Road cash point and left him needing more than 60 stitches for up to a dozen separate knife wounds.

Will was taken to hospital by the taxi driver where he underwent emergency surgery – he is still recuperating and may never be involved in competitions again.

The 18-year-old had assaulted a woman, dragging her by the hair, before Will heard the commotion and intervened – but as he turned to speak to Morrissey the knifeman lashed out.

Morrissey has also received sentences for two counts of battery against the woman on 31st December and 1st January – the New Year’s Day assault saw him drag the woman by her hair and punch her in the eye.

He was jailed for a total of eight years and 10 months at Birmingham Crown Court on 9th February.

Will has re-lived the horror to highlight the dangers of knife crime. He said: “I was at the ATM when I heard a commotion: a young woman was being yelled at.

“I spoke to the man but almost immediately he pulled a knife and began stabbing me. I have had some martial arts training and managed to deflect some of the blows, without that I’m not sure I would still be alive.

“It was a traumatic time not only for myself but also my family; it will have a lasting physical and emotional impact and the scars will stay with me for life.

“It’s unlikely I’ll be able to return to full fitness again because of this and just shows how knives can permanently affect someone’s life.”

Detective Constable Gareth Johnson, from Force CID, said: “This was a particularly severe attack and one that highlights the dangers of carrying a knife as just one momentary lapse can have long-lasting consequences.

“Knife crime is unacceptable and we are committed to punishing those who ignore the risks and dangers of illegally carrying one.

“We were thankful to the information provided by the public following our appeal which helped to build up the case against Morrissey.”

If you have witnessed a knife crime, please report to the Police on 101 – Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org 

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