Sunderland attacker claims God told him to stab Asian stranger in the neck
An attacker stabbed an Asian stranger in the neck as a bizarre act of revenge for Islamic State terrorist beheadings.
Michael Hilton plunged a pair of scissors into his victim then made a 999 call saying "they should not be beheading people" and claimed "God told me to do it".
Newcastle Crown Court heard Hilton told the police he had been hearing voices "telling him to attack Muslims" when he targeted his 32-year-old victim in November 2014.
During the phone call Hilton claimed the stabbing was "in the name of all the people beheaded by ISIS."
The victim was left with a scar from the puncture wound and is now wary of strangers.
He said references by his attacker to what is happening in the middle east were "deeply disturbing" and added; "There is no need for a complete stranger to make such racist remarks towards me in relation to race or religion."
The court heard the victim had to undergo a series of hepatitis b injections after the attack and was left traumatised but his wound healed well.
Hilton, 33, of Balmoral Terrace, East Herrington, Sunderland, who has been assessed in hospital by psychiatrists and spent time in prison on remand for the last 16 months, admitted religiously aggravated assault.
Mr Recorder David Wilby QC sentenced him to a community order with supervision for 18 months.
The judge said the time Hilton has served on remand means he has actually spent more time in custody than the guidelines for such an offence indicate.
The judge added; "I want to make it clear to the complainant in this case that I am in no way belittling the gravity of the offence.
"He was stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors by this man."
The judge said Hilton's psychological and personality problems can be managed with help from the probation service in a bid to avoid a repetition of the behaviour.
Hilton has previous convictions and has served time in prison in the past for violence.
The court heard the victim had been waiting outside a Tesco store in Sunderland, with friends in his car, when Hilton approached and asked for a light.
Mr Jones told the court: "The injured party, not being a smoker, looked to the rear passengers in the car and discovered no-one had a lighter.
"While he was turning, his neck was stabbed by this defendant, using a pair of scissors."
The court heard Hilton left the scene after the stabbing but rang 999 to confess what he had done and made the religious hatred remarks.
Mr Jones added: "It seems the focus was on Islam."
Vic Laffey, defending, said Hilton will stay away from trouble if he takes his prescribed medication and stays away from alcohol.
Mr Hilton has a supportive family and is willing to receive the help being offered to him.