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Knifeman Who Attacked Sleeping Student Has Sentence Cut
7:01am 5th July 2013
A drink and drug-crazed Falmouth man who was caged for attacking a sleeping student at knifepoint today had his 12-year prison sentence slashed by top judges at the Court of Appeal.
Michael John Garry, 32, of Trevethan Road, burst into Jake Goldsmith's room in shared accommodation in The Moor and threw himself onto the bed, putting a blade to the student's throat.
He eventually admitted assault with intent to rob and was jailed for 12 years at Truro Crown Court in February.
But he appealed and saw the sentence cut to 10 years by top judges, Lord Justice Moore-Bick, Mr Justice Mackay and Sir David Madison, in London.
Giving the judgment, Sir David said the sentence was "on any view too high".
The court heard Garry got into the student accommodation via a kitchen window in the early hours of May 6th last year.
He then burst in on Mr Goldsmith and, holding the knife near his throat, demanded £500.
Mr Goldsmith managed to convince his attacker to let him get up to get dressed, but Garry then flipped.
He grabbed the student around the neck and slammed him against a wall, putting the knife near his eye socket and poking at his abdomen.
He was eventually restrained when another resident came to help and was found by police whimpering, crying and struggling.
When interviewed, he said he could remember nothing of the incident, that he had been drinking and taking valium.
His criminal history began in 1996 and included 28 court appearances. He was on licence having been released from a nine-year sentence for three robberies at the time he attacked Mr Goldsmith.
Garry's barrister, Robert Linford, argued that the 12-year sentence - based on a starting point of 13-and-a-half years before a reduction to reward him for his guilty plea - was too tough.
The only reason Garry had not pleaded guilty earlier than he did was that he did not know whether he had done it or not.
Giving judgment, Sir David said: "We accept that the presumed starting point in this case of 13-and-a-half years was on any view too high, serious though this offence was and appalling though the offender's record was.
"Taking account of all the factors, we have concluded that the appropriate starting point would have been one of about 11 years and that the appropriate sentence after allowance for the plea of guilty would have been 10 years."
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