Knifeman caught by spit is jailed

A knifeman who stabbed a pensioner six times in a "frenzied" attack and was caught because he spat on the pavement has been jailed.

David Walters, 23, was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum of seven years in prison at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

The court heard that Walters, of Vixen Close, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, stabbed 75-year-old Maria Morrison several times with a knife at a bus stop in Arrowfield Road last December as he screamed "Die! Die!".

Police identified him after an officer who was monitoring CCTV cameras saw a man carrying a knife stop and spit near the crime scene. The officer radioed colleagues and directed them to the spot where the spit was, allowing forensic police to recover DNA evidence which provided a match with Walters.

The court heard Walters carried out the attack while in a jealous "rage".

Prosecuting, Tim Greenald said Walters, who was on licence for attacking a prison officer at the time, had left his house with a 10-12 inch knife after a Facebook spat with his then girlfriend and his cousin, Anthony Wilks.

Walters was upset about attention he thought his girlfriend had been receiving and left a message on her Facebook page in which he said he would kill the people who made her "end the relationship".

Mr Greenald said: "Walters sent a message saying 'It's straight up 187 cos now I lost you I ain't got nowt to lose'." He explained that 187 is the code for murder in the Californian penal code.

Walters subsequently left his house with the intention of going to Mr Wilks's address but came across Mrs Morrison, 74 at the time, near a bus stop outside Southern Cemetery. CCTV footage showed that his random attack on her lasted for 47 seconds. She received at least six wounds and was left with part of her lip hanging off and unconscious.

Sentencing, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC described Walters' actions as a "frenzied attack" which came about due to his "obsessive sexual jealousy".