POLICE have attempted to reassure residents in Abingdon that the town is safe after a teenager who randomly stabbed a dog walker was jailed.

Oliver Welsby, 18, was jailed for eight years with an extended licence of five years at Oxford Crown Court on Friday for the attack on a woman in her fifties in Boxhill Park on July 19.

Welsby stabbed the woman in her stomach but the weapon, believed to have been a kitchen knife, missed her organs and she survived.

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Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Ali Driver, of Force CID based at Abingdon police station, called the attack 'needless, unprovoked and vicious' adding: "Welsby chose his victim completely at random, which is highly unusual, and makes this assault all the more shocking."

She went on: "With the help of the people of Abingdon who came forward and provided information to officers, Welsby was arrested, and given the evidence against him, entered a guilty plea.

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"Welsby will now serve a lengthy term of imprisonment for this crime, and I hope that the victim and family can draw some comfort from this."

Det Insp Driver added: "I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the people of Abingdon that the town is a safe place to live and work. The help that we received from members of the public and the media enabled us to ultimately bring Welsby to justice.

"I would also like to pay tribute to the professionalism of Thames Valley Police officers for their tireless efforts in this investigation.

"I would ask that the privacy of the victim and her family is respected while they come to terms with the outcome of this case."