A LONELY hearts romeo slashed a woman's throat when she tried to end their brief affair.

Tony Griffin became violent when his date told him she just wanted to be friends.

He now awaiting sentence after admitting wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

At Teesside Crown Court, Griffin appeared in the dock wearing a three-piece grey suit and tie.

Flanked by three doctors, the 20-year-old spoke only to confirm his name and enter his guilty plea.

After the hearing, Griffin, of Sandmoor Close, Eston, Middlesbrough, was taken to a psychiatric unit.

Court papers reveal how he planned to attack another woman at the same spot after she spurned his advances.

In March, Griffin met the woman – who is around the same age as him – on the dating website, Oasis.

The day after they first met, the woman told him she did not want a relationship and wanted to be friends.

A week later, they met again and walked along the old railway line in Normanby, Middlesbrough.

Griffin – who has autism – was wearing black gloves, which worried the woman, as it was a sunny day.

He attacked her with a knife, slashing her chest, and was felled as she tried to run away, the papers disclose.

Griffin pulled back her head and made at least seven 'methodical slashing movements' at her neck.

A dog-walker and another passer-by saw what was happening and called the police as the woman broke free.

Griffin was said to have been 'unemotional' with ' lank expression' before he calmly walked away from the scene.

After his arrest, Griffin said he wanted to 'stab her in the back', as he felt he had been.

It emerged that he was earlier convicted of harassing and threatening to kill another woman.

He had plotted to lure her to the same footpath between Flatts Lane and the Trunk Road to stab her to death.

Griffin was originally charged with attempted murder and was due to go on trial yesterday.

The trial was abandoned when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of wounding with intent.

Prosecutor Nick Dry told the court that doctors are expected to recommend an indefinite hospital order because of Griffin's mental illness.