A teenage boy who tried to knife a stranger to death because he was in a “bad mood” will spend all of his 20s in prison.

Thomas Waeling, 18, chased and plunged a 15cm kitchen knife into the chest of a 50-year-old woman in broad daylight while she was walking home with two bags of shopping from Lidl.

Waeling, who was 17 at the time, claimed that he thought she was a boy who had been threatening to beat him up around Hastings.

Judge Christine Laing KC dismissed this and said Waeling went out to murder an innocent stranger following a heated argument with his dad.

The Argus: Police at the scene following the attack near Bohemia RoadPolice at the scene following the attack near Bohemia Road (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

That person was Sarah Taylor, a professional singer, who was walking home with her shopping from a Lidl in nearby Bohemia Road. She previously described it as the "biggest knife she had ever seen".

Waeling stabbed her in the chest and multiple times in the arm before leaving her for dead

Lewes Crown Court heard that Ms Taylor can no longer play instruments due to losing some mobility in her arm and she cannot sing anymore due to the punctured lung

Judge Laing described it as one of the “most depressing cases” that she had ever dealt with and said young people carrying knives was a “modern-day scourge”.

She gave Waeling a 16-year sentence at Lewes Crown Court this afternoon. He will serve 13 years in prison and three years on extended licence.

Judge Laing said: “I am quite satisfied that you picked the knife up to go and murder someone with it. Never did I accept that you thought it was one of the youths that you thought had threatened you.

“It was to Ms Taylor’s misfortune that she left Lidl at that time and went off the main road.

“Your first thought was not to think what had happened to her and call 999, it was to protect yourself.

“You stabbed her to the centre of her chest. It is very clear that but for the very rapid response of members of the public and the air ambulance, she would not have survived.

“You took a large knife into a public area because you were in a bad mood. You are a dangerous young offender.”

The Argus: A CCTV image released to the public of Waeling moments after the attackA CCTV image released to the public of Waeling moments after the attack (Image: Sussex Police)

Neil Fitzgibbon, defending, said Waeling wished to apologise to Ms Taylor through the court.

Waeling was found guilty by the jury of attempted murder in November. He had already pleaded guilty to possessing a knife.

Waeling got his friend Thomas Mann, 19, to burn the clothes he wore at the time. Waeling also tried to hide the knife in some bushes.

Mann’s mother, who was sobbing in the public gallery, told her son to tell police the truth after seeing the public appeals for two suspects involved in the stabbing and recognising one of them as her son.The Argus: Forensics teams at the scene where Thomas Mann burnt his friend's clothesForensics teams at the scene where Thomas Mann burnt his friend's clothes (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Judge Laing said she was “so impressed” with Thomas Mann’s mother that she gave her the High Sheriff’s Award which included a £300 sum of money.

Mann initially denied his involvement to police but went back and told the truth.

Judge Laing said that her actions “ensured that Waeling was brought to justice”.

Mann pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered to undertake 25 rehabilitation days.