1. ITV Report

Man jailed for slashing teen's throat he lured from USA

David Russell was jailed for 14 years Credit: SWNS

A man who lured a teenage girl he met online into the woods before going on to slash her throat has been jailed for 14 years.

Maricar Benedicto crossed the Atlantic from her California home in April 2011 to meet David Russell, now 25.

But just hours after her arrival in the UK, Miss Benedicto was led into a woods, blindfolded under the pretence that Russell had a gift, and slashed in the throat.

Russell went on to punch the then 19-year-old - shouting "why don't you die" - before his victim managed to escape from the woods in Harlestone Firs, Northamptonshire.

Northampton Crown Court heard Russell, who suffers from autism spectrum disorder, had searched "killing someone" and "how to cut skin with a knife" in the hours before the attack.

Maricar Benedicto was lured into Harlestone woods Credit: PA

Russell admitted attempted murder in October 2011 and was told he must serve at least 10 years in jail before being considered for release.

The conviction was quashed at the Court of Appeal and a re-trial held, with Russell found guilty of the same charge at Northampton Crown Court in September.

Judge Rupert Mayo said: "Russell put a blindfold on her and stood behind her. Maricar thought he was going to give her a present so held her arms out. Russell applied a kitchen knife to the front of her neck."

He said the attack left Ms Benedicto "dazed and confused" and led to her staying in hospital for 24 hours, adding it was a "cold-blooded and callous" attack on a "naive victim".

The court heard that Russell had taken his victim to the woodland after saying he had fond childhood memories of the area.

After attacking her with a knife, Russell continued the assault until she said she had given his name and address to immigration officers when arriving in the country.

Prosecuting, Christopher Donnellan QC said: "The fact is he drew a knife across her neck from behind," adding this was part of a "persistent and continuous attack".

John Lloyd-Jones QC, mitigating, said the attack had a "lack of sophistication, was clumsy in execution and ultimately ineffective".