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Frenchman to serve at least 12 years for stabbing schoolgirl

Latest update : 2008-12-08

A UK court sentenced a young Frenchman to a life term in prison for the attempted murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl Jessica Knight (parents pictured) as she walked through a Lancashire park. Kristofer Beddar must serve at least 12 years in prison.

Reuters - A man has been jailed for life for a frenzied, unprovoked attack on a schoolgirl as she walked through a Lancashire Park.

Jessica Knight, then 14, was listening to her iPod when Frenchman Kristofer Beddar, 21, launched his assault, stabbing her 20 times in the chest, neck, stomach and back.

She was left for dead in the deserted Astley Park, Chorley, south of Preston, but was discovered by a passer-by cycling home from work. She survived after undergoing hours of emergency surgery.

Beddar, from Chorley, who regularly carried a knife, had admitted wounding with intent, but claimed he had no memory of attacking Jessica and had no motive to kill her.

He was turned in by his mother Marion who suspected he had been involved.

Beddar was convicted of attempted murder following a trial at Preston Crown Court, jailed for life and told he must serve a minimum of 12 years.

Police said Jessica, who is now 15, will have lasting medical problems as a result of the assault.

"This was a terrible attack on a vulnerable young schoolgirl in a public place," said Detective Superintendent Steve Brunskill, who led the investigation.

"It is not often I get to meet the victims of such horrific crimes but thankfully in this case I have been able to do so. Jess is a lovely, giggly young girl, with great determination which must have been an influencing factor in her survival."

Date created : 2008-12-08