Teenager slashed to neck during Leeds supermarket row with man

Henry Drever.

Henry Drever.

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A FIFTEEN year boy suffered shocking neck slash injuries after being attacked with a craft knife by a 59-year-old man who took exception to him loitering outside a supermarket with his friends.

Henry Drever became angry with a group of teens gathering in the doorway of the ASDA store and went and bought the weapon before using it to attack the schoolboy.

The youngster suffered a deep eight-inch cut to his neck which needed ten stitches and has been left scarred for life.

Drever has no previous convictions and was described in court as a hard working man who has previously worked in jobs with high responsibility.

He was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to unlawful wounding and possession of an offensive weapon.

Leeds Crown Court heard the incident happened around 8pm on Saturday, January 10, this year at the store in Holt Park, Leeds.

Drever had spent the afternoon drinking in a pub before going to the store to buy beefburgers for his evening meal.

The youngster was stood with four friends, three girls and a boy, in the entrance to the store. A security guard described how the teenagers were talking loudly but not causing any trouble.

Drever swore at the them and told them to get out of his way. One of the girls then swore back at Drever who turned around and said “I will take you all on, especially you” as he pointed at the victim.

He then tried to slap the boy but he missed. The boy pushed Drever away and he fell to the floor.

Drever then went inside the store and bought a craft knife before removing it from the packaging.

He approached the youths again and said to the boy: “Do you want to go then?”

Stephanie Hancock, prosecuting, said the boy thought Drever was joking and was trying to be friendly as he put his arm across his back.

Miss Hancock said: “He soon realised that he had been slashed to the back of the neck.”

Security staff intervened and Drever was arrested.

Drever, of Silk Mill Drive, Horsforth, told police he had drunk six pints of bitter before the incident and could not remember the attack.

He told officers: “I can’t believe I could do this to a kid.”

A statement was read to the court on the victim’s behalf which said: “Nobody had any right or authority to leave me with a physical scar that I will have for the rest of my life.”

Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said Drever had turned to drink in the months leading up to the attack to deal with the pain of losing his wife.

He said: “Nothing that I am going to say on his behalf in any way excuses his behaviour. But it is right to say that his behaviour is totally out of character.”

Mr Sugare added: “It is very hard to understand what went through his mind when he was in the store.”

Jailing Drever, judge Penelope Belcher said: “The courts regard knives as particularly serious.

“If they are carried there is the risk that they will be produced and used. Even if you were met with expletives that can not justify what happened here.”

“You are a grown man and this was a 15-year-old boy.

“You could very easily have retreated into the store and sought help.

“Instead you did exactly what the courts fear and made use of a knife.”