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

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