Homeless man slashed soldier in Barnstaple McDonald's

Exeter Crown Court

Exeter Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A homeless man has been told to expect a jail sentence after he admitted stabbing a serviceman with a craft knife outside a fast-food restaurant.

JJ Simpson pulled out the knife and slashed victim Shane Grinyer’s lower arm during a fracas which started when he kicked in the door of the McDonald’s in Barnstaple.

Simpson was living in a tent near the restaurant in Eastern Avenue and had gone there at 2.15am in the hope of getting a left-over burger at closing time.

He damaged the door when he was thrown out empty-handed and two of the customers then grabbed him as he walked away.

Mr Grinyer, who is a soldier in his 40s, grabbed Simpson in a headlock and he responded by pulling out the knife and stabbing him just above the wrist.

He also lashed out at another man with the blade, causing a less serious cut. Mr Grinyer needed stitches in an open wound and has been left with a scar.

Simpson, aged 27, and now living in St Mary Road, Walthamstow, admitted wounding after a more serious charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was dropped.

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He has previously admitted criminal damage at the McDonald’s and possession of a bladed article in nearby Old Station Road on October 6, 2019.

Judge Timothy Rose adjourned his case at Exeter Crown Court for sentence on August 12. He ordered a pre-sentence report but warned him he is likely to go to jail.

He released him on bail and told him that his maximum sentence would not be more than two years and two months.

Mr Tom Bradnock, prosecuting, said a scuffle resulted from the earlier incident at McDonalds and led to Mr Grinyer getting Simpson in a headlock just before the stabbing.

Simpson pulled the four-inch-long knife with a half inch blade from his pocket and caused the deep wound to the arm as he tried to break free.

Mr Nick Gerasimidis, defending, said Simpson was homeless and living in a tent at the time and went to the McDonalds to get free food because he had no money.

He said he had been attacked by more than one man and went too far in self-defence. He had the knife to use in his tent and to protect himself.

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