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Man jailed for stabbing at a coffee shop in Belper

Published on Wednesday 10 April 2024

A man has been given a 10-year sentence for stabbing a coffee shop worker in Belper who told him he couldn’t charge his vape at the premises.


Darren Laken, of no fixed address, had visited Costa Coffee, on King Street earlier on Saturday 16 September to use the toilet.

The 31-year-old was known to staff who allowed him to use the facilities as it was believed he was homeless, but that day, as he was leaving, he asked to charge his vape and was told no as it was against store policy.

Laken left the store swearing at the employee and walked to The Lion Hotel where he went into the bar, grabbed a bottle of wine and poured it over a desk and a computer before pulling a hotel worker to the floor and punching him. Another member of staff broke their hand as they tried to intervene.

From there, Laken headed back to King Street, stole a packet of knives from Poundland and went back into Costa Coffee.

He then stabbed the victim 10-12 times in his head and arms, and colleagues and customers gave first aid support until the emergency services arrived. Laken was arrested shortly after the incident.

In a statement about the impact the incident has had, the victim said he continues to “live every day with the physical and mental trauma of being stabbed in the head whilst at work.”

He said: “I wake up in the morning and the first thing I see in the mirror are my scars on my head and arms. I feel anxious around people and I’m always looking over my shoulder.”

Laken pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, theft, and criminal damage.

He was sentenced to six years in prison, with an additional four years on licence at a hearing at Derby Crown Court on Thursday 4 April.

Detective Constable Ashley Taylor was the officer in the case. He said: “This was a horrific incident, and my thoughts remain with the victim, who still lives with the mental and physical scars from this violent attack. I would like to thank him for his bravery throughout the investigation and during the court process.

“Laken committed numerous crimes and is now facing the consequences of those actions. I hope the fact that he is now in prison provides some reassurance to the local community.”

DC taylor added: “I’d like to recognise the vital role that local people played in securing this conviction, too, as they were instrumental in coming forward and telling us what happened.

“We want to be clear that violence will not be tolerated in Derbyshire, and we will continue to work hard to take action against those responsible for violent crime.”

Article By Derbyshire Police




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