Paedophile hunter ‘tried to kill an innocent stranger’

Dean Wilkinson (pictured) is on trial accused of stabbing a rumoured child abuser three times in the street with a kitchen knife

A vigilante paedophile hunter stabbed and tried to kill an innocent stranger he wrongly thought was a child sex offender, a court heard.

Dean Wilkinson, 48, attacked Adam Ashton, 49, in the street after a woman accused him of abusing a teenager, a jury was told.

He allegedly produced a wooden-handled knife and stabbed him so badly he was hospitalised for 12 days.

He suffered a punctured spleen which was removed by surgeons.  

Plymouth Crown Court heard the attack happened when Mr Ashton and his friend Alan Brunt left a Co-op in the city around 7pm on November 2 last year.

James Beal, prosecuting, said Wilkinson, who lived nearby, confronted the two men.

He said: ‘He was carrying a wooden-handled kitchen knife with a blade about six to seven inches long.

‘He held the knife to Alan Brunt’s throat and said to them: ‘Which one of you is Adam?’ 

Mr Beal said another man got involved and bundled Mr Brunt to the ground.

Wilkinson then allegedly grabbed hold of Mr Ashton and the complainant felt what he thought were hard punches to his back.

Mr Ashton later realised he was in fact being stabbed with a knife, the court heard.  

Mr Beal added: ‘As he lay on the floor after being stabbed he heard a female say words such as “You have been touching (boy’s name) up”.

Mr Ashton later picked out Wilkinson’s image from a video identification parade. 

Wilkinson is accused of grabbing hold of Adam Ashton and stabbing him with a knife

Wilkinson is accused of grabbing hold of Adam Ashton and stabbing him with a knife

Mr Ashton, giving evidence, said: ‘I remember seeing my friend Alan going down on the floor and the same person who had the knife grabbed hold of me. He grabbed hold of me by the right shoulder.

‘It felt as though he was punching me on the shoulder four or five times. I later realised he had not punched me. He stabbed me with a knife.’  

The court heard he suffered two wounds to his back and one on his arm.

Mr Ashton said he knew the teenager the woman had accused him of abusing but he denied ever touching him indecently. 

Under cross-examination, he said the attacker had ‘tried to kill him’. 

Wilkinson, from Plymouth, denies unlawfully and maliciously wounding Mr Ashton with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

He also denies the alternative count of unlawfully wounding without intent and using a knife to threaten Mr Brunt.

The trial continues. 


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