Thug threatens blind man with knife to steal watch – but brave victim refuses

This is the dramatic moment a thug pressed a knife into a blind man’s stomach, kneed him in the face and demanded his watch – only to walk away empty-handed.

James Donnelly targeted the victim on a Liverpool train heading towards the city centre on December 27, in front of other passengers.

Footage shows the 23-year-old approaching the man before punching him in the face.

He tells him to give over his watch but the 56-year-old refuses. Donnelly can then be seen producing a huge eight-inch blade and holds it to his stomach, threatening to “stab him up” if he doesn't hand it over.

But the man again resists and Donnelly is forced to put the knife away and return to his seat.

He immediately discarded of the knife after disembarking at Liverpool Central but was apprehended by station staff and arrested by British Transport Police, Liverpool Echo report.

At Liverpool Crown Court on January 26, Donnelly, from Garston, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article.

He was jailed for five years.

The terrifying incident has had a lasting impact on the victim, who now suffers from anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks.

Investigating officer DS Ian Henderson said: “This was a cowardly and completely unprovoked attack on a man who was simply minding his own business.

"The victim has suffered greatly, both psychologically and physically, since this terrifying incident – he has lost confidence and suffers anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks.

"The injuries caused by the punch will require several visits to his dentist.

“In addition to this the victim has had to take time off work and, as he is self employed, has seen his livelihood directly impacted."

Case officer DC Dom Wilcox added that Donnelly’s sentence “reflects the severity of this crime and the trauma he has caused to the victim”.

“The railway is a CCTV rich environment and while in this case, Donnelly was apprehended immediately, it would only have been a matter of time before the CCTV led us to identify and arrest him,” he said.

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