Judge suspends sentencing of man who admitted stabbing victim in Elland

Bradford judge Peter Benson
Bradford judge Peter Benson
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A judge has adjourned the sentence of a 22-year-old Elland man so that a psychologist can assess the danger he might pose to the public in the future.

Matthew Shaw, of Southgate, pleaded guilty last month to charges arising out of the stabbing of a man on Christmas Day and he was due to be sentenced at Bradford Crown Court today (Tuesday).

Shaw had admitted wounding Mark Smorthit with intent to do him grievous bodily harm and possessing a kitchen knife in Southgate, but after reading a pre-sentence report about him Judge Peter Benson said it would be in the defendant’s interests for a psychologist to assess him.

It is understood that Shaw had only been released from custody a few days before he stabbed Mr Smorthit in the side and he has previous convictions for street robbery and threats to kill.

Judge Benson said the pre-sentence report author had assessed Shaw as being a high level risk of causing serious injury to members of the public and he could be suitable for an extended prison sentence.

“It seems to me before I take such a step, in fairness to him, perhaps there should be a further assessment,” said Judge Benson.

Shaw’s lawyer indicated that the defendant, who is currently remanded in custody, was anxious to be sentenced as soon as possible, but Judge Benson said the case would have to be adjourned until March 24 for the report to be completed.