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Father and son jailed following a 'stabbing attack'

Father and son jailed following a 'stabbing attack'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 3:43pm 11th February 2020. (Updated at 6:19am 12th February 2020)

A father and son have been jailed after a so-called 'stabbing attack' just over the Cornwall border.

50-year-old Kevin Ridgeman suffered a knife wound to the stomach following an assault in Holsworthy.

It happened in the town centre on Saturday 3rd August last year.

The victim was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and had to have life-saving surgery.

Now two men, known locally as 'the Geordies', have been sentenced at Taunton Crown Court following a six-day trial.

Richard Palmer Senior, 53, was found guilty of wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Richard Palmer Junior, 31, was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm and possession of offensive weapon and sentenced to two years in prison.

police car

What happened in the attack?

The jury heard how both Palmers had been waiting in the Memorial Hall car park at 11pm when they approached 50-year-old Martin Hayler, who was walking a woman - who had been harassed by Palmer Sr the previous night - at home.

Both Palmers confronted Mr Hayler, who they had never met before, and Palmer Jr threw a single unprovoked punch causing significant fractures to Mr Hayler’s jaw which required surgery and plates to be fitted.

The court heard how Mr Hayler sought medical attention in a nearby pub with several people subsequently seeking to confront the Palmers outside their flat, shouting for them to come out.  

A verbal stand-off ensued for around 10 minutes before the group left.

Then at 12.45am a traffic cone was thrown at one of the windows to the Palmers’ flat, causing the window to crack, prompting the father and son to arm themselves with knifes and chase down the culprits.

Palmer Sr subsequently pursued 50-year-old builder Kevin Ridgeman, who was walking along Holsworthy high street at the time and had no involvement in the smashing of the window, and punched him in the face before stabbing him in his stomach, causing significant injuries including perforating his bowel.

Fortunately, police officers, who were in the area due to the reported disturbance, witnessed both Palmers in the street with knifes in their hands and subsequently disarmed and arrested both men.

Mr Ridgeman was taken by air ambulance to Bristol’s Southmead Hospital to undergo urgent lifesaving surgery.    

holsworthy stabbing attack

What do police say?

"Since arriving in Holsworthy three years ago, the Palmers have caused significant issues to the residents of the town with the use of violence and bullying tactics.

"I would like to personally thank all the victims and witnesses who came forward to provide evidence in this trial and also to the attending officers who quickly disarmed both Palmers and no doubt stopped the situation from escalation which would have inevitability lead to further violence and injuries.

"We welcome the sentence at Taunton Crown Court and although knife crime has certainly had a lot of publicity in recent months in the press, I would like to stress that this kind of offending is very rare within Devon and Cornwall."

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Andy Colley

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