'Drug addled' young Whitnash man who stabbed himself given suspended sentence for acts of violence and possessing a knife

Court case
Court case

A ‘drug-addled and paranoid’ young man who brandished a knife during an incident outside a Leamington bar later spent two weeks in hospital after stabbing himself.

And Tyler Hemingway was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of assault and possessing a bladed article.

Hemingway, 22, of Murcott Road West, Whitnash, who also admitted further charges of battery and affray, was sentenced to 20 months in prison suspended for two years.

Ordering him to take part in a rehabilitation activity and a drug rehabilitation programme, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “If you let me down, I won’t hesitate to lock you up.”

Prosecutor Ian Windridge said that in May Hemingway was outside Murphy’s bar in Regent Street, Leamington, drinking from a bottle when words were exchanged between him and Darren McCarthy.

Hemingway took out a knife, and during a clash between them he struck Mr McCarthy with the knife, causing a two-inch cut to the right side of his chest.

Following the incident Mr McCarthy, who had punched Hemingway, was taken to hospital, but later refused to allow the police access to his medical records.

Just over a week later David Spinks was in Admiral Way, Leamington, when he saw a black car with a number of men in it, including Hemingway’s brother, and began to run.

But Hemingway then appeared, holding a motorcycle crash helmet, and there was a confrontation during which Mr Spinks was struck to the side of the head with the helmet.

Later that day Hemingway and others turned up at Mr Spinks’ home, and there was a verbal confrontation with his mother on the doorstep, during which a knife was produced, although Mr Windridge said he was satisfied that was not by Hemingway.

He added that Hemingway had previous convictions for offences including battery, but none for carrying weapons, and was on post-release supervision at the time.

Of the first incident, Clare Evans, defending, said: “He had the knife on him, but it’s plain he was approached by these people.

"They were grown men, a group of individuals who had all consumed about ten pints each.

"They had been to a wake.

“A mere nine days later Mr Hemingway was involved in the affray and the common assault.

"These represented a building crisis in his life this summer.”

She explained it was accepted a debt was owed by Mr Spinks to Hemingway, who had been to the house in the past to try to recover it, and the assault had been the result of a gesture of annoyance, rather than a deliberate blow.

Miss Evans pointed out that later that day, Hemingway, who had a history of self-harm, had made a serious attempt on his own life, stabbing himself in the abdomen.

He had ‘partially disembowelled himself,’ and had to have 15 staples to his stomach and was in hospital for 15 days.

Hemingway had overcome a class A drug habit, but was having an ongoing battle with skunk cannabis which had affected him by making him paranoid, said Miss Evans, who added: “He has really frightened himself with what happened in May.”

Sentencing Hemingway, Judge Cooke told him: “The most serious matter is that episode on the 19th of May when you were habituated to carrying a knife.

“There was a confrontation which I accept was not primarily of your making - but the production of a knife in those circumstances is very worrying indeed.

“Everyone is aware of incidents of knives being carried and used and ending the lives of far too many young men of your age or younger.

"It needs to be stamped out.

“At 22 you have an alarming record.

"There is low-level violence and drug offences.

"There have been no convictions for knife offences, but you, a young man drug-addled and paranoid, were habitually carrying a knife.

“In a paranoid episode, you actually stabbed yourself.

"It is an unusual and a worrying and challenging case.

"At a young age you have been through an awful lot.

"It brought you to the stage when you stabbed yourself, and it scared you.”