Meat cleaver attacker told victim: 'I'm wanted for murder, one more won't matter'

·4-min read
Morgan Helsby was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.
Morgan Helsby was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court. (Reach)

A woman was robbed in her own home and slashed with a meat cleaver as her attacker warned: “I'm wanted for murder already, one more won't matter.”

Morgan Helsby and an unknown accomplice tricked their way into the victim's home in Walsall before he took out a knife and stabbed her.

The 22-year-old then issued the terrifying warning, although he later denied saying it and was not wanted for murder.

He fled the property with £2,000 worth of mobile phones and jewellery.

Helsby was jailed for 11 years and eight months after he admitted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon as well as two earlier offences of assaulting prison officers.

His lawyer claimed he had mental health and behavioural issues and was “manipulated” and “used as a weapon” by his so-called friends.

Morgan Helsby
Morgan Helsby (Reach)

The robbery happened in the Palfrey area of Walsall on 15 February.

Prosecutor Sally Cairns told Birmingham Crown Court: "The victim heard a knock at the front door, she heard a woman calling her name through the letter box and believed it was a friend. Upon opening it the defendant lunged forward and stabbed her in the shoulder.

"The defendant said: 'I'm already wanted for murder, one more won't matter.’”

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Cairns said Helsby slashed the knife at the hip and arm of the “petrified” victim who at one point tried to run before he dragged her back and snatched a gold chain from her neck.

The victim ended up on the floor and tried to fight off the defendant, biting him in the process, prompting him to grab the meat cleaver from the kitchen and attack her with that.

She sustained cuts to her head, bruising and swelling to her face, as well as a wound to her arm which severed the nerve and required stitching.

Birmingham Crown Court heard that when the victim opened the door, Helsby 'lunged forward and stabbed her in the shoulder'.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that when the victim opened the door, Helsby 'lunged forward and stabbed her in the shoulder'. (Reach)

The court was then told about Helsby's attacks on two prison officers on 17 April last year, at HMP Parc youth offenders' institute in Wales, where he was serving a sentence for a robbery he committed in 2015.

Cairns said he got into a dispute with an officer over his breakfast and not being able to leave his cell. He grabbed the throat of the staff member, tussled with him and put him in a headlock.

Helsby then tried to run away but was restrained by two further officers, one of whom he bit on the arm.

Marie de Redman, defending, stated at the time of that outburst Helsby was not receiving his proper medication, was paranoid his prison food was being poisoned by officers and felt he was “under attack”.

Turning to the robbery, she said the defendant was suffering nightmares “because of the violence he enacted”.

De Redman said: "He was put up to committing this offence. Others orchestrated the plan and he was told it was up to him to commit that robbery and get the gold and steal items from the address.

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"The accomplice was instrumental in coming up with the plan and identifying the target.

"Mr Helsby knew nothing about the occupants, in fact he was expecting someone else to be there. He didn't know who the victim was. He was essentially wound up and let go by others.

"His peers knew he can be manipulated in that way and they used him has a weapon. He was not wanted for murder. He has no recollection of saying that and disputes it was said."

De Redman also referred to Helsby's troubled childhood and adolescence. She added: "He is easily led, that's a concern. He is highly suggestible and prone to exploitation. He's left to do the dirty work."

Helsby, of Beechdale in Walsall, must serve at least two thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Judge Roderick Henderson also concluded he was “dangerous”, as defined by law, and imposed an extended five-year licence period which he must adhere to upon release.

He said: "I couldn't possibly conclude otherwise that you are dangerous within the legislation and pose a significant risk of serious harm by committing further specified offences.

"I do accept on the other side of the case you have very serious and many difficulties to cope with, some of them within yourself and some of them as a result of life experience, some of which have been dreadful and no-one should have to face what you went through.

"But a significant part of my sentence has to be to protect the public."

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