THE teenaged victim of a crazed knife attack has been left suffering violent flashbacks of the night he woke up to find a smiling Aaron Odgers standing over him with a carving knife.
The boy was just 16 when Odgers launched his motiveless attack, plunging the blade eight times into his back and seven times into his left arm.
Lucky to survive, he has been left with emotional and physical scars that may never heal.
On Monday 25-year-old Odgers was jailed for 17 years for the attack but one question was left unanswered – why did he set upon the teenager and then attack his mother?
The trial jury heard it was not the first time Odgers, of Southgate Street, Redruth, had launched into unprovoked violence.
In 2005, aged 17, he was reprimanded for an offence of battery, having run up behind his victim, tripped him up and punched him.
In 2007, on September 20, he attacked two other people.
Philip Lee, for the prosecution, said: “He has followed a woman, run past her, approached her and struck her to her left cheek.
“Shortly afterwards he approached a man waiting for a bus, asked him for the time of the bus, grabbed him in a headlock and punched him a number of times to the head and face.”
As in the most recent attack, these victims had not provoked Odgers.
Giving evidence, the teenage boy, who was described by the judge as showing real intelligence but cannot be named for legal reasons, said it was like something just “went” in Odgers’ head.
“He did not say anything at all,” he said. “He was smiling, I think he was laughing ... He had never had any problems with me and it was really out of the blue.
“I am just shocked that it happened really, he did not have any reason for it.”
The Truro Crown Court jury heard from a number of character witnesses for Odgers, including his former boss and the mother of his son, who described him as decent, genuine, caring and hardworking – none knew about his previous convictions.
Mr Lee said there was no obvious motive for the attack.
“He went upstairs and something triggered an outburst of anger,” he said. “It begs the question whether any of those people who thought they knew him will ever get the full story.”
Detective Constable Jules Lewis, who first met Odgers the day after the stabbing, described him as calm throughout the interview process.
He said: “He did not seem particularly troubled by the circumstances.
“From the moment of his arrest he did not react.
“He did not protest his innocence, he just very calmly seemed to accept the situation.”
Odgers remained calm during the trial and sentencing.
Detective Constable Lewis said: “I have spent a lot of time trying to work out the motive because it helps the victims to know why it has happened and helps the court understand what has happened.
“I am aware of some events that might have been a trigger but as far as I am aware, it is nothing to do with the family who were attacked.”
In sentencing Odgers, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said he posed a significant danger to other members of the public and passed an extended sentence so Odgers will be under the supervision of the probation service until 2035.
And perhaps there was no motive.
Is it as DC Lewis said? That there are two Aaron Odgers –the charity shop employee and father who is liked by many – and the second, darker person who is capable of smiling as he stabs a sleeping 16-year-old boy?