Man jailed for slashing neighbour's throat

 

A man has been jailed for five-and-a-half years for slashing the
throat of a father who survived by stemming the blood with a doner
kebab.

Jamie Edney, 36, was convicted of grievous bodily harm with intent to wound, following the attack in Highbridge, Somerset in January last year.

James Hobbs, 37, wrapped the kebab around the wound to stem the flow of blood from the 5in (12.7cm) gash on his neck.

Edney's trial heard that Mr Hobbs, from Highbridge, had been out with his cousin to buy food before returning to his flat in Charlotte Court on January 15 2011.

It was then that the neighbours got into an altercation outside Edney's flat and Edney cut the father-of-one's throat after he was accused of having an affair with Mr Hobbs' girlfriend.

Edney, who narrowly missed the vocal cords of his victim, appeared at Bristol Crown Court dressed casually in a dark coat and gave no reaction as he was handed the sentence.

Judge Michael Longman told Edney, whose partner was sitting in the public gallery, that although he accepted Edney had not started the argument, to pick up a knife was "asking for trouble".

"You were at home that day with your partner when Mr Hobbs came to your door," Judge Longman said.

"It is clear on the evidence that he banged very loudly on the door and kicked it as well. You heard the noise and answered the door. But before doing so you picked up a knife.

"You say that Mr Hobbs lunged at you, that you raised your arms and in doing so you accidentally cut him. But the prosecution said effectively, in a single movement, you slashed his neck. The jury rejected your account.

"I accept that you did not go looking for trouble. It was not begun by you. It was Mr Hobbs who came to your door and he did so in a temper. To answer the door holding the knife was asking for trouble ... you selected the knife intending to intimidate.

"I accept that you regret and didn't expect the injury or the outcome, but when you use a knife in the way you did it is perhaps only to be expected."

Judge Longman told Edney that he was giving him the lowest sentence possible due to the mitigating circumstances and handed him a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

The four-day trial at Taunton Crown Court was told Mr Hobbs' had been punching Edney a couple of times before falling to the floor with the knife wound in the block of flats where the two men lived.

Mr Hobbs said he held the kebab to his neck for several minutes until his cousin found a towel to cover the deep horizontal cut. He lost over six pints of blood and was rushed to hospital in a critical condition and unable to talk.

Doctors told him he was lucky to be alive as he needed an operation to open his windpipe so he could breathe and 27 staples to seal the cut.

Edney, from Longstone Avenue in Bridgwater, Somerset, had denied the charge of grievous bodily harm with intent to wound but was convicted unanimously by the jurors.

Harry Ahuja, defending, said: "Mr Edney maintains his actions were as a result of aggressive actions towards him. Taking the knife to the door was the wrong thing to do. He knew it was the wrong thing to do.

"He was shocked when the injury occurred and this was followed by regret and remorse."

Appearing alongside Edney today were Ian Anderson, 37, of Bishops Place, Highbridge, and Dave Jones, 38, of River View, Combwich, who had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

The court heard that under a "misguided sense of loyalty", Anderson and Jones had burned the clothes Edney had been wearing on the evening of the attack.

But, Anderson had also convinced Edney to hand himself in to police and despite destroying potentially important evidence in the case, their actions had not affected the police investigation.

Anderson was given a community order and told he would have to complete 160 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months. Jones was told he would have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

The pair were also ordered to pay £250 each in prosecution costs.

Mr Hobbs, his partner Lisa Reed, 33, and his cousin left the court today without commenting.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?