Masked robbers jailed after man almost dies in horrific knife attack

Knife robber mugshot

Callum Pillman - Credit: Submitted

A pair of masked robbers have been jailed for a knife attack which left the victim with horrific life-threatening injuries.

Callum Pillman and Shaun Taylor attacked 19-year-old Marcus Goold in a public park at Ilfracombe in January after arranging to meet to buy cocaine from him.

He suffered five deep knife wounds and only survived because the first policeman at the scene cleared his airway and used chest compressions to bring him back to life.

He lost consciousness and was sure he was going to die.

He was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth where surgeons removed his spleen and part of his bowel in a life-saving emergency operation.

The tip of a knife was recovered from the lower end of his thigh bone, which had been fractured by the ferocity of the attack.

Pillman and Taylor travelled from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe by bus late on the night of January 23 before walking to Bicklescombe Park, where they had arranged on Snapchat to buy two grams of cocaine using the false name of Barney Plug.

Masked robber mugshot

Shaun Taylor - Credit: Submitted

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They met Mr Goold in a car park and Pillman stabbed him with a kitchen knife which Taylor had brought from his home and handed to him.

Taylor himself was armed with a large adjustable spanner which was not used in the attack, during which Mr Goold was told to hand over all his drugs and money.

A friend of Mr Goold saw what was happening and chased off the two men, whose faces were covered by black balaclavas and hoodies.

Pillman and Taylor went back to Taylor’s home in Barnstaple where they tried to wash the blood off their clothes and shoes. Taylor told his father, who contacted the police.

Pillman later told police he could not understand why he carried out the stabbing and claimed that he hated knife crime.

Taylor, 29, of Crosslands, Barnstaple, and Pillman, 21, of Heathfield Road, East the Water, Bideford, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Pillman was jailed for 11 years and four months and Taylor for 10 years and six months by Judge Peter Johnson at Exeter Crown Court.

He told them: “You travelled to Ilfracombe to rob Mr Goold and went there prepared to use extremely serious violence to do so. When you met him, there were no preliminaries. You, Pillman, stabbed him immediately five times.

“You caused near fatal injuries and left him hanging on to life by a thread. This was clearly the most serious sort of offence of wounding."

Miss Fiona Elder, prosecuting, said the motive for the attack was robbery and that Mr Goold had come very close to death.

He was unresponsive and not breathing before Sergeant Dave Thubron started CPR while his friend staunched the bleeding.

The balaclavas were seized by police from Turner’s bedroom but the large vegetable knife was never recovered.

Mr Goold, now aged 20, made a victim impact statement which said: “I know I was targeted to be killed and if my friend had not been there, I would have been killed.

“Without the people who helped, I would have died. Without the helicopter, I would have died. Without the skill of the surgeons, I would have died.”

He said his continuing medical treatment are a life sentence for him and the injuries have wrecked his career as an amateur footballer. He spent 11 days on his own in Derriford because of Covid rules and his mother has had to give up her job to care for him.

Mr Richard Crabb, for Taylor and Miss Emily Pitts, for Pillman, said they were both under the influence of drugs  when they carried out the attack.

They have both overcome their habits while in custody and are truly remorseful and want to apologise to Mr Goold and his family.


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