Man avoids jail after twice stabbing 93-year-old in Potters Bar

Police at the scene in Potters Bar's Oakmere Park.

Police at the scene in Potters Bar's Oakmere Park. - Credit: Archant

A man who stabbed a 93-year-old twice in Potters Bar has avoided jail after being sentenced at St Albans Crown Court this morning (Monday, March 26).

Ryan Hewitt, aged 20, of Carpenter Way, Potters Bar, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm (Section 18 wounding with intent) and possession of a bladed article at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, December 12.

On the afternoon of Thursday, July 6 last year, the victim was sitting on a bench in Oakmere Park when he was approached from behind by Hewitt and stabbed twice in the back. He initially thought he had been punched.

•More: Man pleads guilty after stabbing 93-year-old twice in random park attack

Hewitt was today given an indefinite hospital order, meaning he must stay in hospital under Section 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act until he is deemed safe to return into the community.

Detective Constable Robert Wood from the Hertsmere Local Crime Unit said: “This was a harrowing incident for the victim and the lasting physical and mental effects on him and his family have been considerable.

“The victim had simply been waiting on a bench in the park to meet his grandson when he was approached from behind and randomly attacked.

“During sentencing the judge remarked that due to his mental health issues Hewitt poses a real threat to the public.

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“The hospital order will ensure that he gets the help that he needs and prevents him from hurting anyone else.”