A chef who stabbed a woman handed himself in to police after his own mum recognised him in a CCTV image, a court has heard.
Detectives in Kent had launched an appeal for witnesses after student Isabelle Hall was wounded to the upper right side of her body and to her right breast outside a pool and snooker lounge.
It was not long after that James Nangle, from Canterbury, got a call from his mum to tell him she had phoned the force, identifying him as a suspect.
The 29-year-old rushed to the police station the following day, denying being involved in any assault.
But he now faces jail, having been convicted by a jury on Wednesday of unlawful wounding.
Canterbury Crown Court was told Nangle stabbed Ms Hall with a sharp implement- believed to be a house key – all the while she was being punched and having her hair pulled by Elle McAllister in the early hours of December 8, 2021.
Prosecutors said that having ‘slyly and spitefully’ wounded her he then acted as if he was ‘nothing more than a friendly peacekeeper’.
Giving evidence at his trial this week, Nangle maintained his innocence, claiming he had nothing in his right hand when he gave the victim ‘a dig’ with his first in her ribs.
He said this was done to break the two women up, and that he had not caused her any injuries.
Recalling the moment he realised police wanted to trace him, Nangle said he was ‘terrified, scared, and very confused’.
He told the court that a colleague at the pub had shown him a screengrab of the police appeal, adding: ‘I did not have a clue what was going on.
‘I did not really make a decision there and then what I should do but then almost immediately afterwards I received a phone call from my mother.
‘She lives in Northern Ireland. She told me that my dad had seen the online article and contacted her. My parents are divorced.
‘My mum had then immediately called Kent Police and identified me and then she called me to say she had told them I would respond as soon as possible.’
The court heard that Ms Hall had been out with friends in the city centre and was having a cigarette outside Cousins in the early hours when Nangle together with McAllister and another woman walked past.
None of them knew each other but a joke was shared between the two, which led to an argument between Ms Hall and McAllister.
Prosecutor Kieran Brand said that as the victim reacted by telling McAllister to ‘**** off with her friends’ , she was then suddenly punched to her left cheekbone, grabbed by the hair and pulled downwards.
‘Whilst at first blush it appeared that he [Nangle] was playing peacekeeper, the Crown say he himself slyly and spitefully assaulted Isabelle himself,’ he added.
‘And they weren’t punches. They were blows using some sort of sharp implement. In short, this defendant stabbed her.
‘It is unclear what he is holding but the shape of his hand and his movements suggest there was something in it.’
Both Nangle and McAllister were released on bail until their sentencing hearing on September 28, which will be held at Maidstone Crown Court.
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