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Mark Pearson has been locked up for the attempted murder of a man, who repeatedly called him a “nonce”, outside Aldi in Spennymoor

Mark Pearson has been given a life sentence for attempted murder in Spennymoor (Image: Durham Constabulary)

A grandad who was falsely accused of being a paedophile has been given a life sentence for stabbing his tormentor.

Mark Pearson repeatedly stabbed Michael Inwood with a lock knife in a “frenzied” attack outside the Aldi store, in Spennymoor, in front of horrified shoppers.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mr Inwood suffered “life-changing” injuries after being stabbed eight times, including the neck, heart and lung, on the afternoon of September 9 last year.

The 47-year-old denied trying to kill Mr Inwood, but a jury convicted him of attempted murder and being in possession of an offensive weapon at trial.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said that the stabbing was “totally disproportionate” to the provocation and jailed Pearson for life with a minimum term of 12 years.

The court heard how Pearson snapped after two years of torture from Mr Inwood, who had repeatedly branded him a “nonce” and a “paedophile”.

However, Pearson is registered as a Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) 2 – meaning he is a classed as a violent offender, not a sex offender.

The pair had initially clashed earlier that day on the top deck of a bus heading towards Spennymoor when Mr Inwood called the defendant a “wrong ‘un”.

It spurred Pearson to follow Mr Inwood, who was leaving the bus, until he was stood next to the driver where he told him that he was a “dead man walking” and that he was going to “slit his throat”.

Pearson then drew his finger across his neck in a cutting action.

He got off the bus at the next stop, walking past the Aldi shop on Cambridge Street towards his home. However, he suddenly turned around and headed back towards the store – and in the direction of Mr Inwood.

The pair confronted each other and began shouting “come on then” before Pearson got out a lock knife from his pocket and hid it behind his back.

Newcastle Crown Court was told when Pearson got in range he swung his right arm and stabbed Mr Inwood in the neck. He then proceeded to stab the victim “up to 10 times”, including the heart and lung, until he fell to the floor.

The offence took place in broad daylight outside the busy supermarket with one horrified witness saying it was like “something out a horror movie”.

Pearson fled the scene and called 999 after stashing the lock knife in a bag of flour in his kitchen cupboard.

He told police he didn’t deliberately stab Mr Inwood and claimed it was self defence.

The court heard how Mr Inwood had suffered a brain injury with his speech, eyesight and mobility being severely impacted by the attack.

He is also now experiencing regular seizures, mood swings and has lost his independence.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, he said: “My life is a daily struggle. I can’t walk in a straight line. I can’t dress myself, my father is caring for me. I still have no access to my daughter and it is breaking my heart.”

Tony Davis, defending, said the attack arose as a result of two years of “utter frustration” that had “boiled over”.

Pearson, of no fixed abode, has a long list of previous convictions for violence, including in 1996 when he was jailed for eight years for attacking three police officers with a knife.

Judge Sloan said: “You had the knife with you really to use as a weapon as neccessary.

“It was a cowardly attack – holding the knife behind your back to then catch Mr Inwood by surprise.

“The taunts do not begin to justify your subsequent actions. Using the knife you gave up to 10 blows or so, causing eight wounds and leaving him for dead.

“The only sentence I can pass is one of life given the possible threat to the public.”

Northern Chronicle

A GRANDFATHER who was wrongly branded a paedophile has been found guilty of the attempted murder of his tormentor.

Mark Pearson repeatedly stabbed Michael Inwood with a lock knife in a horrific attack outside the Aldi store in Spennymoor on the afternoon of September 9.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Mr Inwood was stabbed eight times, including in the heart and lung, but he managed to survive the attack.

Pearson, 46, had denied trying to kill Mr Inwood but, following a trial, a jury convicted him of attempted murder as well as the less charge of carrying an offensive weapon.

The jury was told that Mr Inwood had wrongly accused Pearson of being a child sex offender which had led to several verbal altercations between the pair.

During a police interview read out during the trial, Pearson told police Mr Inwood was a bully who was “telling everyone” that he was a paedophile.

The attack happened outside the supermarket after he was called a paedophile on a bus in the town.

During his evidence, Pearson told the court: “If I meant to murder him I would have stood over the c*** and stabbed him again. How am I meant to know where his f*****g heart is? I don’t know about bodies.”

But during the trial Ian Brook, prosecuting, said Pearson’s account was not credible as he had changed his story several times and admitted lying about stabbing Mr Inwood.

Mr Brook also made reference to a message sent from Pearson’s phone to a friend shortly after the incident in which he said Mr Inwood had been stabbed and was “laid on the f*****g floor, flat out”.

Pearson, of Eden Road, Spennymoor, had denied stabbing Mr Inwood or carrying a knife.

Pearson, who is a father and grandfather, was found guilty on both counts this afternoon.

He has been remanded into custody and will be sentenced on May 1.

Northern Echo

MP

The Right-Wing protester who launched a tirade at a judge in a Dover riot case last week returned to court today… and apologised!

Dad-of-six Mark Pearson had screamed and shouted after appearing by prison video link from his native North East.

Eventually, after being told to keep quiet, the judge pressed the “mute” TV button and the case continued in silence, with Pearson gesticulating wildly.

Today, the 43-year-old sat quietly in the room in Durham Prison to tell Judge Adele Williams: “Your Honour, I do apologise and I am very sorry for the way I went on the other day. I was totally out of order. I shouldn’t have been the way I did (sic)”

But the contrite apology didn’t prevent the judge from jailing him for two years after he admitted violent disorder.

Prosecutor Paul Valder told Canterbury Crown Court how Pearson travelled from his home in Pelton, near Chester le Street, to join a right-wing protest in support of lorry drivers in Dover.

At 3.05pm, Pearson, wearing a camouflage flak jacket and bearing St George flags was caught on camera in Castle Street at the head of a group.

Left-wing thugs then began pelting the group with missiles “which rained down on them”, one of which hit Pearson on the head.

Mr Valder said he is then seen picking up the missile before “suddenly “ running towards the police lines and hurling it back over their heads towards the left-wing protesters.

The court heard that as the rival groups clashed, the left-wing protesters began chanting “Nazi scum” and Pearson with 20 to 30 others then gave a Nazi salute while shouting “Sieg Heil”.

Pearson has a criminal record with more than 80 convictions including eight for public order offences, one of which was racially aggravated.

But his barrister Alexia Zimbler said he denies being a member of any right-wing group, including the English Defence League or the National Front.

She said Pearson had made the 330 mile trip with his 23 year old daughter to support the lorry drivers and was angry that the police weren’t doing more to protect them from the left wing protesters.

“He doesn’t accept that he is a racist and says his views aren’t too right wing.

“But he accepts he lost his temper when the left wingers started shouting “Nazi scum” and reacted accordingly.

Judge Williams told him: “Your behaviour that day was wholly unacceptable. This was serious public disorder on the streets of Dover.”

Kent Today

Far-right mark pearson

A far-right thug who threw objects at people during demonstrations in Dover in January has been jailed for two years.

Mark Pearson, 42, of The Avenue in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, was also recorded performing Nazi salutes and acting in an aggressive and threatening manner towards police.

He pleaded guilty to violent disorder and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court today (Wednesday).

Pearson is one of almost 60 people to have been arrested in connection with the Dover protests on Saturday, January 30.

His actions were recorded on film and after being identified he was arrested in Durham on Thursday, March 10.

Detective Inspector Bill Thornton of Kent Police said: “I am very pleased with the sentence imposed on Mark Pearson, which I believe sends a clear message to those intent on causing trouble during such demonstrations.

“He is the eighth person to have been sentenced so far for violence committed on the day, with sentences totalling more than 11 years’ imprisonment. I am looking forward to seeing many more positive outcomes in the weeks and months to come.

“The people of Dover do not want the likes of Mark Pearson coming to their town and displaying such unacceptable behaviour, and we will do everything in our power to ensure those who joined him in committing offences on the day are brought to justice.”

Dover Express

Mark Pearson with his 18-year-old daughter Tina

Mark Pearson with his 18-year-old daughter Tina

HE was once jailed after holding his daughter captive – but 15 years on he’s back in trouble with the law, this time for protecting her honour.

Mark Pearson was locked up for eight years in 1996 after he sparked a two-hour armed siege, which left a police officer fighting for his life.

Armed with a commando knife, Pearson, then 21, stabbed PC Peter Walsh in the thigh, severing a main vein, then returned to his house and kept his partner and three-year-old daughter captive while armed police surrounded his property.

The horrifying ordeal only ended after police negotiators and his mother pleaded with him to give himself up.

But after pledging to turn his life around while in prison, Pearson has been hauled before the court once again – this time for assaulting a teenager who bad-mouthed his daughter, now 18, to his face.

The court heard Tina’s 18-year-old ex Robert Cummings told Pearson he would spread lies about his daughter around the village where they live. Pearson, 36, then pushed Mr Cummings to the ground and punched him in the face.

Speaking from his home in Pelton, County Durham, Pearson said: “Obviously, the biggest regret of my life was that incident where Tina was involved as a child.

“As her dad, I see it as my job to protect her, and that’s what I did when this kid insulted her like he did.”

Pearson, who lives with his partner and five children in The Avenue, admitted assault before Consett magistrates yesterday.

He also admitted possessing three air rifles which were found by police when they raided his home following the attack.

The court heard Pearson spotted Tina and Mr Cummings outside a supermarket cuddling in June.

He approached the pair and told Tina to return home.

Heather Wilkinson, prosecuting, said: “He told her to go home and for Robert Cummings to wait outside the property.

“Shouting could be heard from inside the property. Mr Cummings left and walked to a bus stop when a neighbour approached him.

“Pearson then came out and tried to start an argument.

“Mr Cummings said ‘I felt he wanted to have a fight’. He (Pearson) said: ‘Come home get a shovel and you can dig yourself a hole’.”

It was said that Pearson then pushed the teenager towards the ground over a bench and, as he turned to board a bus, hit him in the face.

But Susan Hanson, defending, said that while Pearson admitted causing the injuries, he did not accept many of the details of what happened.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with supervision and ordered to attend a calm course.

He was also ordered to pay compensation to Mr Cummings of £100.

Newcastle Chronicle