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11 February 2013, 11:30
A Bedford man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison at Luton Crown Court after inflicting life changing injuries on his would-be business partner.
47 year old Barry Bell from Lindisfarne Priory in Bedford, had been in the car financing business for many years. He had been introduced by mutual acquaintances to Gary Brown of Buntingford in Hertfordshire and the two became friends, eventually agreeing to go into business together.
But by April of 2012, before the business had even started, Bell owed £40,000 to Mr Brown and made up a string of excuses about why the money hadn’t been paid. It included £15,000 which Mr Brown had given to Bell to buy a car for his wife – but the car never materialised and Mr Brown asked for his money back.
Bell agreed to go with Mr Brown, 53, to the bank in Bedford town centre on May 17 to sort the matter once and for all. They met in Bedford and Bell got into Mr Brown’s car and they drove to the Broadway car park.
Once at the Broadway, Bell went to the back of the car, apparently getting change for the car park ticket. But totally without warning he produced a knife and stabbed the unsuspecting Mr Brown in the neck from behind as the other man sat in the driver’s seat. Mr Brown suffered six knife wounds in the chest and neck and was also hit three times round the head with an iron which Bell had also brought with him.
Bell was found guilty at Luton Crown Court last year of causing Mr Brown grievous bodily harm with intent, although he had been found not guilty of attempted murder.
“This was an absolutely unprovoked attack and all the more frightening for it,” said Det Sgt Graham McMillan, of the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit. “Mr Brown had no reason at all to suspect anything like this was going to happen – the men had been friends for two years and Mr Brown had no chance to defend himself.”
“Bell had run out of money to pay back the people he owed – which included Mr Brown – and the visit to the bank that day was about to uncover the whole mess. Bell has never explained why he thought that attacking Mr Brown was going to help the situation, preferring instead to add insult to injury by claiming that Mr Brown had brought the knife to the meeting and was the aggressor,” said Det Sgt McMillan.
“His injuries left him needing a blood transfusion and it’s only thanks to the skill of the surgeons who were able to operate and stop the bleeding that Mr Brown is still alive. He’s been left with permanent nerve damage and is obviously still out of pocket by a huge amount of money.”