A Deeside man who stabbed a shopkeeper while drunk and high on drugs has been jailed for twenty years.
Matthew Whelan admitted the attempted murder of Imtiaz Ul Haq during a robbery at a Costcutter store in Queensferry last December. The 30 year-old from Mancot was sentenced as a dangerous offender.
The stabbing left Mr Haq with stab wounds in his throat and head – the court heard he considered himself lucky to be alive and thought at the time he had only a few minutes left to live.
Whelan, who previously served a jail term for robbery at a local gold shop, took a knife to the shop to commit robbery and made off with £400 worth from the till. He later sent a text message saying he thought he had killed the shopkeeper.
The defence said Whelan was ”genuinely remorseful” for what happened, despite having little recollection because he had binged on drink and drugs. He did not want to seek forgiveness because he felt he did not deserve it.
Judge Rhys Rowlands told him he had inflicted the ”most terrible injuries” in a ”cowardly and frenzied” attack. He added Whelan had posed a very high risk of harming others and ruled that he must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before being considered for release.
Another man, Leslie Baines (47) of Connah’s Quay, was cleared by a jury of robbery. A two-day trial at Mold heard that Mr Baines had dialed 999 and had no idea that Whelan had been carrying a knife.