Sadistic knifeman’s web of lies laid bare in prison phone calls after stabbing victim 27 times

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A sadistic ex-soldier who stabbed a vulnerable friend 27 times then blamed him for the attack was caught out by his own words during prison phonecalls to his then girlfriend.

Connor Young repeatedly knifed 20-year-old Daniel Rock after making him pay for a four-day cocaine and vodka bender.

The victim had fallen asleep before his “so-called friend” left him with what doctors later described as “carefully inflicted” wounds.

A court heard how Mr Rock – who has autism and multiple personality disorders – was left “pouring” with blood from the “almost sadistic” and “extremely disturbing and sinister” stabbing.

However, Young, 23, had suggested his pal came at him with a carving knife causing cuts to his right hand which needed stitches.

Our sister title The Liverpool Echo now reveals that the phone calls Young made from HMP Liverpool to his then girlfriend undermined his lies.



The knifeman was caught out by calls to his then girlfriend from prison

Liverpool Crown Court heard the attack happened at a flat in King Street, Wallasey, shortly before 12pm, on April 29 this year.

Witnesses helped Mr Rock when he staggered outside, covered in blood.

Young was found in a grassed area in Charlotte Road and said: “I’m hiding. I’ve stabbed someone because they tried to stab me.”

He claimed: “I had been playing an egg and spoon race when I fell, the egg went under the railing and I cut my hands on the barbed wire getting the egg.”

Young, of Beckwith Street, Birkenhead, who gave a “no comment” police interview, denied attempted murder and was set to stand trial.

In a defence statement, he claimed Mr Rock had attacked him with a knife first and he was only defending himself.

But he later admitted the lesser charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, which the Crown accepted.

Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said this guilty plea only came after prosecutors served a transcript of “highly significant” phone calls.

He read out part of two conversations on May 16, the first relating to a call Young made to his girlfriend at 1.44pm:

Girlfriend: “Have you admitted to it?”

Young: “No, not yet cos they said to me don’t admit to an attempted murder, throw your hands in for Section 18 wounding with intent.”

Girlfriend: “And how long will you get for that?”

Young: “It depends, I’m realistic looking at getting a six or a seven and I’ll be out in three. I’ll do three years on good behaviour.”

Girlfriend: “It’s still f***ing long though Connor.”

Young: “Yeah but it’s better than getting 15 and doing seven and a half.”

Girlfriend: “Ah, is that what they said you’re looking at if you get charged with attempted murder?”

Young: “Yeah, attempted murder is usually eight to 12. Like, that’s not when someone gets stabbed 33 times though.”

Girlfriend: “What? Did you stab him 33 times?”

Young: “Yeah.”

Girlfriend: “What?”

Young: “Yeah.”

Girlfriend: “I thought it was only three times?”

Young: “33.”

Girlfriend: “What?”

Young: “Yeah, doesn’t it say that in the news or nothing nah?”

Girlfriend: “No it just says he was stabbed in the head, the back and the neck, or the head, the back and was it the neck? Yeah it was the head. The head, the back and the neck yeah.”

Young: “It was the head. It was his face, back and head.”

Girlfriend: “What?”

Young: “Mm.”

Girlfriend: “Was he your mate?”

Young: “Yeah.”

Girlfriend: “Yeah?”

Young: “Go on, I’ll ring you in a bit anyway.”

The couple spoke again at 6.05pm:

Young: “You wanna see me hands, they’re ripped to bits yanno.”

Girlfriend: “Are they? Why?

Young: “Off the knife, I’ve got one, two, three, four, five, six, seven…

Girlfriend: “How come? Why did it touch you?”

Young: “Where me hands were slipping off the handle.”



Liverpool Crown Court

Judge David Aubrey, QC, interjected and confirmed that Young admitted the “full facts” – the entirety – of the prosecution case against him.

He said in pre-sentence and psychiatric reports, “the defendant gave very contrary accounts as to how he came by his injuries, which are totally and utterly inconsistent with that passage”.

The judge added: “To them he has said the victim attacked him with a knife and raised the issue of self-defence, or possibly – being as accurate as I can be with these reported events – perhaps going ‘over the top’.

“But this passage is, as I’ve already stated, inconsistent with those accounts and he will be sentenced on the full facts.”

The conversation continued:

Girlfriend: “Was you off your barnet?”

Young: “Nah, I can’t say too much cos I can’t remember most of it anyway. That’s what I’m saying in court. But I can’t say any more.”

Girlfriend: “Why can’t you talk about it?”

Young: “Cos it’s still an ongoing case. My calls, what you’re saying now is getting listened to.”

Girlfriend: “Yeah I know that anyway. But f***ing hell, it’s not like you’re denying it, you’re not saying it wasn’t you.”

Young: “Yeah but there’s stuff, I just can’t.”

Ian Whitehurst, defending, said Young had a “promising” Army career cut short by injury and had since received a preliminary diagnosis of PTSD.

He said his client, of previous good character, no longer stood by his self-defence claims.

Mr Whitehurst added: “The comments in May, I was not advising him at that .

“He now knows the sentencing powers of this court are far more draconian than what might have been flippantly said on a phone call conversation to his then partner.”

“Simply not telling the truth”

Judge Aubrey said Young continued to “seek to minimise the enormity” of what he did to an “extremely vulnerable” victim, who he manipulated and controlled.

He said: “You were compelling him to drink alcohol before ultimately it would appear he fell asleep.

“Only you in truth know what precisely happened, but I’m satisfied you’re simply not telling the truth to others about what in fact did happen.”

He said what was “beyond doubt” was Mr Rock suffered “27 widely scattered stab wounds” in what a doctor said was a “very prolonged attack”.

Judge Aubrey said: “They were thus in my judgment inflicted by you in a controlled and managed way.

“You knew and indeed precisely knew what you were doing, which is clear from the phone call you had with your girlfriend.”

He added: “Another call also proved that any suggestion your victim was in possession of a knife, and attacked you, was and is a complete fabrication by you.”

Judge Aubrey said Young “gratuitously degraded” Mr Rock and that there was “no connection” between his “self-reported” PTSD and the attack, which was not an “impulsive” response.

“Sustained and callous attack”

He said: “In my judgement the very nature and manner of your action when your victim was asleep is almost sadistic and is at the very least extremely disturbing and sinister.

“It was a sustained and callous attack on such a vulnerable person, well managed, controlled and very prolonged.

“You continue to maintain it was your victim who attacked you with the knife and you have no insight into what you have done.”

Judge Aubrey said Young was a “dangerous” offender and jailed him for 12 years, with an extended three years on licence.

This means he will spend at least two thirds of the sentence – eight years – behind bars, before he can apply for parole.