A TEENAGER who took a knife into Colchester town centre to rob someone “just for the thrill of it” has been judged a dangerous offender after he stabbed a stranger.

Tyler Menzies, 18, stabbed 63-year-old Paul Fairweather in Crouch Street, Colchester, in May.

Ipswich Crown Court heard the victim had been out on the town with a friend and had ended the night at Rubix nightclub.

He emerged from the club in the early hours of the morning, before heading across the road to get some food.

David Baird, prosecuting, said: “Their mood was very good because they came out of the nightclub singing an 80s song.”

Menzies, sitting with two other youngsters near a kebab shop, “did not take very kindly to the singing or activities of Mr Fairweather”.

A verbal confrontation ensued, before Menzies drew a knife and lunged at Mr Fairweather.

The victim was able to partially move out of the way, before Menzies struck out a further four or five times.

The teenager fled the scene and was found a short distance away in a car park by a police officer.

The five-inch blade with a serrated edge, was found nearby. In hospital, Mr Fairweather received stitches to a single puncture wound to his chest.

The court heard Menzies carried out the stabbing while under a youth referral order, a sentence imposed after he was found to be carrying a nine-inch blade in public in November last year.

He admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon.

Sasha Bailey, mitigating, said Menzies was open to undertaking therapy to deal with the trauma and suspected PTSD he suffers following a difficult childhood.

She said her client had left education around the age of 12, at which point he was “largely left to his own devices”.

“There is empathy within him, he is not somebody who is simply cut off with no remorse or feelings for those around him,” she said.

She said Menzies, of Walsingham Road, Colchester, had “found solace” in Islam while in prison.

“He explained to me eloquently he finds peace now,” she said.

Judge Martyn Levett called the stabbing “just one more case in a catalogue of violent incidents which blight the streets of our towns”.

He said Menzies had taken a knife out that night “to rob someone just for the thrill”.

“You stabbed Paul Fairweather for no apparent reason at all, apart from his singing,” he said.

Judge Levett said in police interview, Menzies accepted he had been “caught red-handed”.

He added: “But all you could do was laugh and say you didn’t have any regrets for what you did”.

Menzies was judged to be a dangerous offender and received a prison sentence of four years and four months, with an extended five years licence period.