‘Dangerous’ man jailed for ‘senseless’ stabbing

A ‘DANGEROUS’ man has been removed from the streets and jailed after a ‘completely senseless and violent’ stabbing.

Tony Combs’ victim had to have a blade removed from his back in hospital following the incident in Stalybridge, which saw him imprisoned for 13 years.

The 39-year-old was stood outside a shop on Mottram Road on the evening of Sunday, June 21 last year when the man he attacked came out of a friend’s house and walked in his direction.

Combs pushed him into an alleyway close to Portland Place before demanding he handed over his possessions.

The scene at Portland Place in Stalybridge

When the victim tried to get away, he then used a knife to stab him in the left side of his back, only millimetres from causing a permanent spinal cord injury.

Even after he fell to the ground, Combs kicked and punched him repeatedly in the head before he was rushed to hospital, where he had an operation to remove the knife from his back.

In a victim impact statement read out at the Nightingale Court at the Lowry Theatre, the victim said: “I genuinely believed that I was going to die.

“I believe what has happened to me will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was a horrific experience.

“It could have been a lot worse. You do not hear of many happy endings when someone is attacked with a knife.”

Combs, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to a total of 13 years at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court on Friday, July 30 after earlier pleading guilty to section 18 wounding and possession of a bladed article.

Tony Combs

Recorder Jeremy Lasker told him: “I have seen the photos. You caused serious injuries by your later assault on him.

“Happily, he managed to get away from you. He was extremely lucky, no thanks to you.

“You used a highly dangerous weapon and it was a vicious, prolonged attack. This could have been worse. It is only sheer luck that it wasn’t.”

Recorder Lasker passed an extended sentence to ‘protect the public’, saying he believed Combs posed a significant risk of committing other offences. The sentence included an extended licence period of four years.

And police welcomed the fact he is no longer roaming the streets.

Detective Constable Rick McIvor, from Greater Manchester Police’s Tameside Operation Challenger Team said: “This was a completely senseless and violent attack on an innocent member of the public who had simply been visiting a friend and was on his way home.

“I am pleased Combs has received a custodial sentence as he very much deserves to be jailed for this attack, which has left the victim with lasting mental and physical trauma.

“I hope it provides at least a small sense of justice and allows his victim to continue to move on with his life knowing this dangerous man has been removed from our streets.

“And I want to commend the bravery of the victim of this horrific incident as his full support throughout this investigation has ensured we have been able to secure a lengthy conviction.”

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