Man sentenced to 14 years behind bars for stabbing Wolverhampton doorman

A man has been jailed for 14 years for stabbing a doorman through the heart after being denied entry to a Wolverhampton pub. 

Craig Birch, aged 31, was found guilty of wounding with intent today (Thursday 11 December) at Wolverhampton Crown Court. 

The court heard how, on the night of 6 June, Birch left the Malt Shovel pub and tried to get into the Harp Inn. Birch was refused entry by the 38-year-old − who’d taken the pub security job to help put his young son through private school − because he was still carrying a bottle of beer from the previous pub. 

And during a scuffle between the pair Birch stabbed the family man once in the chest, piercing his heart. 

"The stab wound − which was around 10cm deep − required a life-saving heart operation," said Detective Sergeant Indi Basra from Force CID, "and also led to a bleed on the brain. They were shocking injuries from which the man is likely to be affected by for the rest of his life… and all because Birch took offence to being asked to finish his drink before coming in the pub." 

Witnesses and CCTV evidence from the scene all identified Birch, of Inkerman Street, Wolverhampton, as being involved in an altercation with the doorman before he was seen to collapse in a pool of blood. 

Birch was arrested three days later and, following forensic examinations, the victim’s blood was found on his shoes. 

The former retail worker accepted he was involved in a scuffle with the doorman, but denied stabbing him − but a jury did not accept Birch’s version of events and found him guilty with the judge handing him a 14 year sentence. 

Det Sgt Basra, added: "This case highlights the devastating impact of carrying a knife in public − Birch’s decision to leave home with a knife that night has shattered an innocent man’s life and ruined his own. 

"If you set foot in public with a knife you not only endanger other people’s lives but also your own. If someone with a knife gets caught up in a row or scuffle there’s every chance that knife could be used to injure or kill − and may well be used against the carrier. And of course the risks are increased when the carrier, as in Birch’s case, is drinking alcohol as their judgement is even more blurred. 

"Anyone using a knife in anger can expect to waste much of their life behind bars." 

Story and photograph courtesy of West Midlands Police.