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A drug addict who tried to murder lone women in two vicious knife attacks just 19 days apart has been handed a life sentence.

Jayden Hayes, 24, attempted to kill one of his victims just 90 minutes after he had been released on bail by magistrates following other alleged offences. The court had been provided with ‘misleading’ information, it was said.

He attacked 61-year-old Joy Clarke as she returned home from a chippy in Oldham, repeatedly stabbing her in the head, face and chest.

Then, about three weeks later Hayes struck in Oldham again in, trying to murder another woman by slicing her throat.

The 71-year-old had been walking to the shop.

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On both occasions, Hayes was seen ‘scouting’ the area looking for victims.

Hayes, who suffered from drug induced psychosis, was said to have an ‘unhealthy interest in stabbings’.

He searched for information about knife attacks online and had a picture of the Coronation Street character Pat Phelan on his phone, who was knifed to death in a plot line in the soap.

On Friday (January 8), Hayes was given a life sentence, to serve a minimum of 14 years before he can be considered for release.

Judge Alan Conrad QC said: “This is a chilling case, in which you Jayden Hayes brought terror to the Oldham area.”

Both Hayes’ victims were in court as Hayes was sentenced.

Ms Clarke said she suffers flashbacks and nightmares, and that scars and other injuries are a ‘constant reminder’ of her ordeal.

Reading her statement in court, she said: “I wonder why my attacker did this to me.”

Both victims received hospital treatment and have since been discharged.

Manchester Crown Court heard Hayes was cycling along Sharples Hall Road, Spring Hill, at about 6.20pm on November 1, 2019, when he rode past Ms Clarke, his first victim.

Hayes had been bailed by magistrates 90 minutes earlier following an appearance in court regarding other alleged offences.

She was returning home with her tea after visiting a fish and chip shop.

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Hayes got off his bike and approached from behind before stabbing her to the side of the head, causing her to fall to the ground.

He stabbed eight more times in the face, head, arm and chest, narrowly missing her heart.

She said that since the incident, the thought of eating food from a chippy makes her ‘feel sick’.

The second attack happened just before 6pm on November 20, 2019.

The 71-year-old woman was walking along an alleyway linking Stoneleigh Street to Yates Street in Derker, on her way to a newsagents on London Road.

Hayes entered the alleyway from the other side.

He walked past the woman, then doubled back after checking no one was about.

He then grabbed her from behind and used a knife to cut her throat.

Despite the victim wearing a scarf and thick coat fastened about her neck, the force was such that the knife cut through the material and left a four-inch wound across the width of her throat.

“Both women were alone in a public place, and were attacked without warning from behind in the hours of darkness,” prosecutor Rob Hall said.

“It was only good fortune and their fortitude that kept them alive.”

Despite the impact of her injuries, Ms Clarke said she hopes that Hayes ‘receives the help he needs to change his way’.

The second victim described the day of the attack as the worst in her life, saying she suffers panic attacks and flashbacks.

Police were able to link Hayes to the attack using CCTV and phone evidence.

Upon his arrest, examinations of his phone showed Hayes had been searching for information about knife attacks and serial killers.

Earlier on the day he attacked Ms Clarke, Hayes had appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court in relation to other alleged offences and had been remanded in custody.

He was granted bail, but Hayes’ sentencing hearing was told magistrates made the decision after being provided with ‘misleading’ information.

Hayes claimed to have previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and gave details of a property which he said was his stable address.

Within 90 minutes of being released, Hayes attacked Ms Clarke.

The court heard Hayes used cocaine and cannabis.

After his arrest on December 12, 2019, Hayes was taken to Ashworth hospital, a high security mental health unit, after concerns were raised for his mental health.

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But he will serve his sentence in prison, after prosecutors said it was found his mental health problems had been drug induced.

He had previously stopped taking prescribed medication, and at times refused the help of community mental health staff.

Defending, Keith Sutton said Hayes wished to apologise to those affected by his crimes.

He said Hayes had been a ‘very different person’ before he started taking drugs.

He pointed out that a doctor said that while Hayes would have known using cannabis could cause problems, he was ‘unlikely to have expected to become as severely unwell’ as he did.

Mr Sutton said Hayes ‘bares no personal animosity’ to his victims.

Hayes, of no fixed address, admitted two counts of attempted murder.

After the hearing, Detective Inspector Ben Cottam, of GMP’s Major Investigations Team, said: “Hayes is a cold and cowardly violent offender.

“Throughout both attacks he remained silent and made no threats or demands of his victims.

“His crimes were of someone who seemingly wanted to inflict the maximum degree of hurt, simply for the sake of it.

“If not for the hard work of our officers I dread to think where Hayes’ escalating pattern of offending would have led.

“Thankfully we were able to identify Hayes and remove from our streets a clearly very dangerous individual, before anyone else was hurt.

“It is thanks to the emergency services and the remarkable strength of these two women that these attacks didn’t result in the loss of life.

“I’d like to thank them for their immense bravery during this investigation and subsequent court case.

“I hope it gives them a degree of closure that this man will remain behind bars for a considerable period.”

This content was originally published here.

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