Man 'tried to kill ex-wife in sword attack'

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The Independent Online

A man tried to kill his former wife and three policemen with a samurai sword taken from his weapon collection, a court was told yesterday.

A man tried to kill his former wife and three policemen with a samurai sword taken from his weapon collection, a court was told yesterday.

Fuelled by drink, Ian Morrison, 39, smashed his way through a solid teak front door to get at his ex-wife, Manchester Crown Court was told. He then turned on three police officers when they arrived at Offerton Drive, Stockport, Greater Manchester, in August last year.

Mr Morrison denies four charges of attempted murder. Charles Chruszcz, QC, for the prosecution, told the jury that Mr Morrison chose the sharpened 2ft-long Japanese weapon from his collection of swords and daggers with the intention of attacking his ex-wife, Tracey. The couple had two children - Rhiannon, 10, and Pagen, five - but split up shortly after Pagen's birth in 1995 and divorced two years later.

The couple remained on amicable terms until the incident on 23 August 1999, when Mr Morrison telephoned his former wife and repeatedly threatened to kill her. Convinced that she was going to be murdered, Mrs Morrison locked all the doors and took the children upstairs.

But 15 minutes later her ex-husband pulled up outside the home in a white Ford Orion and took out the sword, Mr Chruszcz told the court. Shouting obscene threats, Mr Morrison then smashed his way through the hardwood door, breaking the latch. "The nature and ferocity of the defendant's behaviour was witnessed by many people who you will hear evidence from," the jurors were told.

Once inside the house, Mr Morrison made his way upstairs. Mr Chruszcz said it was a miracle Mrs Morrison had not been injured. She had cowered behind the bedroom door as the defendant plunged his sword through it.

When she heard Mr Morrison's footsteps going back downstairs, she opened the door to see her attacker had confronted the officers who had responded to neighbours' 999 calls. Mr Morrison initially smashed the windscreen of a police van, then attacked another vehicle driven by a woman officer, before fleeing.

Two officers in a police dog van then spotted him making his way along Marple Road. Sergeant Michael Davies saw the samurai sword he was holding and decided they should keep at a safe distance but, as they turned into Curzon Road, Mr Morrison emerged from behind an electrical cable box where he had been hiding. As the officers reversed out of the road, he closed in on them, the court was told.

Mr Chruszcz said: "What we will see in a video is Mr Morrison taking hold of the sword, cupping it in both hands like a dagger and running at the police dog van, thrusting the sword through in a double-handed dagger thrust and, you will see, almost up to the hilt."

The sword was long enough to almost reach the seat where Sgt Davies had been sitting. Mr Morrison then switched his attention to Constable Stephen Lambert, who was driving a car fitted with a camera. The defendant smashed the passenger window with his sword, aiming at PC Lambert's head.

The officer tried to drive away while the car was not in gear, then held up his hands to try to protect his head. He was slashed across the wrist. The court was told the steel cut through to the bone and severed PC Lambert's tendons.

Mr Morrison smirked at his victim and tried to make off when he was struck by a police car, it was alleged.

When officers went to his flat they found numerous swords and daggers and Mr Chruszcz said the weapon he had used had been specifically sharpened for the task.

The trial continues today.