A judge who sentenced an 18-year-old man to more than a decade in prison said young people carrying knives “has got to stop”.

Judge Christine Laing KC was sentencing Thomas Waeling for trying to murder a 50-year-old woman who was a complete stranger.

Waeling, who was 17 at the time, plunged a knife into the chest of Sarah Taylor who was carrying her shopping back from Lidl on May 15 last year.

Judge Laing said that stabbing cases involving young people were "rising very fast".

Lewes Crown Court heard that Ms Taylor only survived thanks to passersby who gave first aid and the air ambulance that took her to hospital.

The Argus: The police cordon at Bohemia Road after the attackThe police cordon at Bohemia Road after the attack (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Waeling was given a 16-year sentence on Friday. He will serve 13 years in prison and three years on extended licence. As he was sent downstairs, Waeling’s father gave him a thumbs up.

Judge Laing said: “This is perhaps one of the most depressing cases that I have had to deal with in quite some time.

“At the heart of this case is the current habit of young people like you carrying knives, it has got to stop. There is a lot in the press at the moment. It has got to stop. The number of murder cases of young people against other young people is rising very fast.

“This is an attempted murder but that was simply because of the speed of the response.”

Waeling claimed that he thought Ms Taylor was a boy who had been threatening to beat him up around Hastings.

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)

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

He stabbed Ms Taylor in the chest which caused a punctured lung as well as multiple times in the arm.

The court heard that Ms Taylor, a musician, can no longer sing or play instruments to earn money due to her injuries.

She lost around 30 per cent mobility in her arm and the punctured lung causes her breathing difficulties.

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

He had no previous violent convictions but did carry a knife on school property when he was 15 in October 2019.

Cut Knife Crime campaign

Two months after launching the Cut Knife Crime campaign, The Argus continues to shine a light on the scourge that is taking lives in our county.

We continue to cover court hearings ahead of the trial of the 16-year-old boy accused of killing 17-year-old Mustafa Momand and other cases relating to stabbings and violent crimes.

The Argus is also heading out onto the streets to hear your views on what should be done to tackle knife crime.

But what tangible changes do we hope to achieve with the Cut Knife Crime campaign?

Our mission is to help cut knife crimes and the number of people being injured and killed in stabbings through:

Increasing the use of knife amnesty bins, educating young people about knife crime and making them aware of the effects it has on not just the victim, but those around them and having more bleed control kits in pubs, shops and businesses.