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‘Zombie robber’ jailed after knife attack

08:53 02 July 2014

'Zombie robber' Steven McMahon who has been jailed

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Axminster drug addict stabbed pizza delivery man and stole his £300 takings

An Axminster drug addict - dubbed The ‘zombie’ robber - has been jailed for stabbing a pizza delivery man and escaping with his £300 takings.

Steven McMahon lay in wait for victim Robert Purrington outside his home in Seaton, and stuck a knife eight centimetres into his arm when he tried to fight him off,

Mr Purrington was left with severed tendons which needed surgery and has left him with restricted movement in his hand, Exeter Crown Court was told.

McMahon is a heroin addict who was desperate for drugs and thought his victim may have a supply in his bag. He had no memory of what he did and was said to be ‘like a zombie’.

He was driven to the scene of the attack from Starcross where he had spent the night with two friends and returned there with his loot.

McMahon, aged 30, of Musbury Road, Axminster, admitted robbery and was jailed for a total of eight years and ten months by Recorder Mr Jonathan Fuller, QC.

He told him: “You travelled from the other side of Exeter and you must have lain in wait for the victim. You were armed and you came up behind him.

“He sensed you were there and turned and grabbed you but you brought the knife down with a chopping motion into his forearm. You made your escape with the bag containing his wallet with £300.

“The injury was a deep laceration which cut tendons and nerves and following surgery a full recovery is not expected for two years.

“You gave a false alibi which police disproved through numberplate recognition and mobile phone evidence.”

Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said McMahon was given a lift to Seaton by two friends from Starcross and attacked Mr Purrington at around 9 pm on December 16 last year.

Neighbours who went to his aid saw a silver car leaving the scene which was recorded heading West about an hour later. Phone cell site analysis showed McMahon and his two friends travelled to Seaton at the time of the robbery.

He said Mr Purrington had just finished his shift delivering pizzas and had gone home briefly before heading out again with the £300 takings.

Mr Coombe said at the time McMahon was subject to a 22 month suspended sentence imposed at Taunton Crown Court in August for stabbing a man at a party.

Mr Nicolas Gerasimidis, defending, said McMahon has a long history of drug abuse and had no recollection of the robbery because he was ‘high as a kite’.

He said the victim had been a drug dealer who had supplied him in the past and there was a history of ill feeling between the two men.

He said: “It is true he got transport to the scene and was armed but this was not planned. This was a chaotic offence. His sole purpose was to obtain heroin from a man he says had supplied him in the past.

“He descended into a vortex of class A drug use. He also suffers from narcolepsy and catalepsy which need specialist treatment. His condition is such he has been like a zombie when I have seen him.”

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