Alston man locked up for nine years

25/11/21. Saul Shepherd, 20, of Alston, who was jailed today. Cumbria Constabulary mugshot.
Saul Shepherd, 20, of Alston, who has been jailed. Credit: Cumbria Constabulary

A man who repeatedly stabbed a father in the street while high on cocaine amid a simmering row over an unpaid £40 debt has been locked up for nine years.

Saul Shepherd, 20, lent Jonathan Nelson cash several weeks before an initial late night incident at the Alston home of the latter on August 27.

After repeated door knocking, Shepherd climbed through a window armed with a machete and made threats to “take his head off”.

He fled, was later arrested and bailed.But more serious violence erupted on the night of September 11 outside Alston’s Victoria Inn.

After leaving the pub, Mr Nelson was stabbed; his next recollection was waking up in intensive care, eight days later.

Shepherd had been seen lunging aggressively at Mr Nelson, striking him in the torso and slashing his upper arm.

Mr Nelson spent five weeks in hospital receiving treatment for serious injuries to his badly damaged bowel. He underwent three operations.

In an impact statement, Mr Nelson said the attack left him in “excruciating pain”, “traumatised” and suffering from flashbacks.

Ground worker Shepherd, of Lambsgate Farm, Alston, ran out of town after the stabbing, hid and and disposed of the knife and clothing in a river.

“Yeah I stabbed him twice. I was on coke,” he told police.

He admitted aggravated burglary, wounding with intent and illegally having two bladed articles at a previous hearing

Carlisle Crown Court, where sentencing took place. Credit: ITV Border

Jailing Shepherd, Judge Simon Medland QC told Shepherd: “To use his (Mr Nelson’s) phrase: ‘I could so easily have died’.

“All of that was done by you because you were angry and frothing with violence in your mind, brought about by your consumption of drugs.“

Detective Constable Lisa Atkinson, from Cumbria Constabulary's north Cumbria crime and safeguarding team, said: “It was befitting that Mr Shepherd received a significant custodial sentence considering the offences he has committed. Both the incidents were targeted and callous.

“The actions of Shepherd were completely unacceptable and absolutely not the way of resolving any disputes. There is no place for violence and knife-related violence in Cumbria. These are offences that Cumbria Police will continue to relentlessly investigate and we will pursue all those who carry out these crimes."