Kingskerswell knifeman jailed for violent robbery

Friday 1st April 2022 12:37 pm
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JAILED: Tyndall Swinnerton.
JAILED: Tyndall Swinnerton. (police )

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A PAIR of robbers who left their victim with life-threatening stab wounds after an attack in the centre of Torquay have been given long jail sentences.

Tyndall Swinnerton, previously of Kingskerswell, and Tyrone Shellam were filmed by the dashcam of a bus as they hunted down a man they believed to be a cannabis dealer before setting on him with a knife and a golf club.

The victim could be heard shouting ‘help me, help me’ on the footage but the attackers only ran off when the brave bus driver got out to help and told them they were being filmed.

The pair arranged to buy drugs from the dealer but he realised they were about to rob him and ran into Union Street, where they chased him down. His black and white dog bit Swinnerton but was unable to stop the attack.

The pair fled with a rucksack which contained cannabis and cash but were traced by police from the dashcam footage. Swinnerton was identified as the knifeman while Shellam was wielding a metal golf club.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court commended bus driver Leslie Tozer and said the victim’s injuries could have been far more serious but for his intervention and first aid.

The injured man was left in a pool of blood and almost lost an arm because of an injury that severed an artery in his armpit. A second wound punctured his ling and he was also stabbed in the thigh and back.

Swinnerton, aged 25, previously of Kingskerswell, but now of North Road, Okehampton, and Shellam, aged 30, of Preston Downs Road, Paignton, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent, robbery, and possessing offensive weapons.

They were jailed for nine years and eight and a half years respectively by Judge Timothy Rose.

He told them: ‘This was a deliberately planned exercise to rob the victim of cannabis and cash. You set up the victim by arranging to buy cannabis from him but you really intended to rob him, hence both of you had weapons.

‘The attack was an extreme episode of utterly gratuitous violence. He tried to run away and you chased him into the road. I commend the bus driver Mr Tozer and the efforts he made to discourage the attack and do everything he could for the victim.

‘This was planned violence and it was simply dreadful.’

Mr Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said Swinnerton and Shellam arranged to buy drugs in Torquay on the night of December 16, 2021 but went armed with a knife and golf club and attacked him.

He ran across the street into the path of the bus where the two men caught up with him and Shellam clubbed him to the ground before Swinnerton stabbed him four times. The final part of the attack was captured on the bus’s dashcam.

The victim’s personal statement said: ‘I’m glad the bus was there or I would have died.’

Mr Lee Bremridge, for Swinnerton, said the robbery was out of character and was caused by his abuse of drugs, which started when he lost his brother and father to suicide and road accident.

Mr Paul Dentith, for Shellam, said he did not know that Swinnerton was armed with the knife until he produced it during the attack.

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