A 17-YEAR-OLD who stabbed a fellow school pupil as he tried to steal his cannabis has been sent to youth custody for four-and-a-half years.

His accomplice, now 17 but 16 at the time, was handed an 18-month sentence in a Young Offender’s Institution at Mold Crown Court where Judge Rhys Rowlands declared that young people in Wrexham should know they would suffer similar sentences if they resorted to knife crime.

The robbery victim, also 16 at the time, suffered a collapsed lung and spent two days in hospital after he was stabbed in the stomach on Smithy Lane in Wrexham.

The pair turned on him after inviting him to bring a £60 stash of cannabis so they could smoke it together with two other youngsters in a park.

Judge Rowlands said: “It was a premeditated planned attack.

“Your youth is a feature, but make no mistake about it the taking out of knives on the streets and their subsequent use is a desperately serious matter.

“It is a matter of real concern that you suggest it was commonplace among young people in the Wrexham area that they arm themselves with knives before they go out.”

The judge said it was a feature of the case that the boy who wielded the knife was addicted to cannabis use and pre-sentence reports revealed he was still using the controlled drug.

“What was profoundly disturbing was you were living fairly dissolute lifestyles smoking cannabis at a very young age which should concern the apologists for that drug,” added the judge.

“The message needs to go out to others of the same age what will happen to them if they go out with knives.”

Prosecuting barrister Jade Tufail said the pair arranged to meet their victim near a Londis store and the plan was “rob” the cannabis off him.

The attacker and his accomplice armed themselves with kitchen knives. After their victim arrived on a mode he was asked if he was ‘going to roll this joint now?’ before he had a knuckle duster thrown at him so he could fight.”

The attacker took out one of the knives and said “I am keeping this”, referring to the cannabis.

When the blade was broken by the victim in a twisting motion the other boy took a black-handled meat knife from his pocket and gave it to the other boy who made “slashing and stabbing motions”.

The victim described the defendant’s actions as “he he was proper throwing it about and I knew it was hitting me.”

The injured teenager staggered in a state of dizziness into a neighbouring house after the knife penetrated two layers of clothing inflicting four separate wounds, including a deep stomach wound which punctured in his left lung. He also suffered lacerations to his arm and back.

In a victim impact statement read to the court he said he was unable to sleep on his left side as a result of the attack and now feels “uneasy and paranoid” all the time.

The attacker, who is from Wrexham and was 16 at the time of the incident, denied unlawful wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on November 1 last year, but he was convicted after a trial.

He admitted robbery and possession of a bladed article.

His accomplice, also from Wrexham, pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of a bladed article.

Defence barrister Benjamin Knight told the court the boy who used the knife had suffered from the breakdown of his parents’ marriage and there had been two suicide attempts.

“He has mental health problems and that may be because of his cannabis use,” said the barrister. “He lives in a town where drug dealers arrive on mopeds. But he made what was a ridiculous and dangerous decision.”

Barrister, Myles Wilson, said the second boy had moved on and was attending college and had a weekend job.

“It was completely out of character and the offences were committed during a period of strain for his family. His father had died the year before and he was sofa surfing,” said Mr Wilson.

A five-year restraining order was put in place prohibiting any contact with the victim.