Man sentenced for York tourist attack

43-year-old Paul Andrew Knipe has today been given an indeterminate sentence following an unprovoked attacked on a tourist in York.

A judge sitting at York Crown Court ordered him to serve a minimum of four-and-a-half years in prison before he can be considered for release, at a hearing today (14 May 2012).


At around 8.30pm on Friday 1 July, the victim, 78-year-old Lyle Thole from South Africa who was on holiday in York, was walking in the area of York Minster. As he walked through the city, Mr Thole became aware that Knipe was following him, Knipe then struck up a conversation with him.

A short time later, as they walked through the Minster Yard area, the 78-year-old tourist was struck on the head with a stone. He was hit repeatedly on the head before members of the public called for an ambulance.

The victim returned home to South Africa shortly after the incident as planned, however, the attack has rendered him unable to travel and has severely affected his health.

Knipe pleaded guilty to attempted murder in November 2011, two weeks before his trial was due to begin.

Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Costello, said:

The attack was a nasty and vicious assault on an innocent member of the public. Such was the ferocity of the assault only the fitness and good health of the victim prevented the injuries from causing more serious complications.

We are pleased Knipe pleaded guilty in November, sparing the victim the ordeal of a trial. He now has to face up to the consequences of what he has done.

I would also like to add my thanks to the members of the public who came to the victim’s aid and those who witnessed the incident and came forward to assist the police investigation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.