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Prescription thief jailed for stabbing friend

Prescription thief jailed for stabbing friend

Thursday 28 May 2020

Prescription thief jailed for stabbing friend


A 34-year-old man has been jailed for six years for stabbing a friend he had been drinking with, before making off with his prescription medication.

James Christoper Power was unanimously convicted of grave and criminal assault by a jury earlier this year.

He had previously pleaded guilty to theft of the victim’s medication on the same day. 

The attack happened on 17 August last year after Power and the victim – a man in his 50s  had spent time together in a property on Beach Road.

Pictured: The attack took place in a property on Beach Road.

The pair had both previously spent time in jail but met shortly after they had left when Power was a teenager.

During the trial, the victim gave evidence that was inconsistent with the statements he had given to the Police, leading the Crown Advocate Julian Gollop to describe him as “hostile”. 

The man first said Power stabbed him in the back of both legs with his own knife – a Spanish knife with a 18cm blade and a wooden handle - before trying to stab him in the chest. A struggle then ensued during which Power grabbed the man’s left arm, telling him: “Give me your meds now or I’ll plug you.”

In Court, however, he said he didn't recall how he had sustained his stab wounds and that he didn’t want anyone to be sent to prison on his behalf. He also said a man in a balaclava had attacked him that night.

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Pictured: Power was unanimously convicted of grave and criminal assault by a jury earlier this year.

Power maintained his innocence during the trial, saying he had neither stabbed the man nor caused him injuries intentionally.

He claimed this had happened after the pair discussed an incident from years ago during which the other man had punched him and accused him of stealing his phone.  

Power said the man had put the bottom of the knife against his throat and then the blade. After he pushed him away, he claimed the man said: “I should have finished you years ago.”  

Power said the man then climbed over him, so he grabbed his hands, before pushing him away and getting the knife off him. “It happened very quickly,” Mr Power said. 

After getting off the couch, Power said he tried to make his way out of the flat, at which point he stood on the man’s medication bag. “I thought, 'I’m having this.'… I had spent 30 quid on beers for him. I just took it.” 

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Pictured: Power has been jailed for six years.

The jury of six women and five men - one of them was discharged on the last day of the trial - retired for just over three hours before returning a unanimous verdict. 

Power's conviction and his guilty plea to one count of larceny put him in breach of a community service and probation order imposed for offences of larceny on a person in August 2019.

He was then remanded in custody until his sentencing yesterday in the Royal Court, where he appeared before the Superior Number - a panel that assembles only for the most serious cases.

He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Christina Maclennan, Head of the Serious Crime Unit, commented: “We want to remind the public that knife crime is still very rare in Jersey and we continue to work alongside partner agencies with the aim of reducing violent crime even further.

“The use of knives, or any weapon, to carry out a crime will not be tolerated and is completely unacceptable. Those caught will be arrested and dealt with by the full force of the law.”

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