A MAGISTRATE who was knifed by a pupil in his days as a teacher has been named as the Lib Dem candidate to be the Thames Valley's first Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley.

Professor John Howson, who lost out to Reading East MP Rob Wilson at the 2005 General Election, will be challenging Tory West Berkshire councillor Anthony Stansfeld and barrister Tim Starkey for Labour in the November poll.

He is a Vice President of the Magistrates' Association, having first become a JP Abingdon in 1992, and has taken leave of absence from the Oxfordshire bench to fight the election. Professor Howson served on the Lib Dems policy working party on crime and justice in 2008

He said: "Although the Lib Dems were happy with the existing arrangements for scrutinising the police, the new role has become much wider than just its original intention of holding the Chief Constable to account. Commissioners will play a strategic role in the management of the fight against crime across the Thames Valley, and this embraces�discussions�with many different agencies as well as the police."

Professor Howson added: "As a businessman and former university head of department, I am used to the scrutiny of budgets, and have written about concepts such as activity based costing.

"Policing in England is a matter of consent. Currently, too much crime is linked to addiction, whether drug or alcohol related. Helping to stop re-offending is the best way to keep down police spending in the future."

Professor Howson, who was stabbed three times and had his nose broken by a pupil in Tottenham in the 1970s, added: "As a victim of a classroom stabbing when a teacher, having experienced four burglaries in my adult life, and been involved in two road traffic accidents, I know the�effects crimes can have not only on the direct victim, but also on others in the wider community."

He has lived in Oxfordshire for more than 30 years and has been involved in teacher training for the past 10.

Liberal Democrat regional chairwoman Liz Leffman, said: "We are delighted to have such an experienced campaigner, with an excellent knowledge of policing and crime, as our candidate for Thames Valley."