Colwyn Bay man jailed after machete attack on neighbour

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Staff Reporter

A dispute over the alleged noise of doors slamming at a house of multiple occupation led to a machete attack.

Defendant Peter Greene, 50, today jailed for two years, said it literally drove him “around the bend”.

He ended up going to a neighbour’s door with a machete and attacking him.

Victim Darren Winstanley suffered two wound to the head and a deep cut to the hand – said to be a defensive injury after he put his arm out to protect his neck.

Both men ended up falling down stairs at the house in Lawson Road, Colwyn Bay, following a struggle.

Mold Crown Court heard how both men had been friends but earlier fell out.

Judge Niclas Parry said that the consequences could have been fatal.

The victim suffered a serious injury to the hand and wounds to the head but he said the machete blows could have landed anywhere.

The injuries showed the ferocity of the weapon and the potential for injuries could have been fatal.

“All of this happened because you sought to resolve a dispute with the use of a weapon,” he said.

It was aggravated by his poor record and worryingly he had a conviction involving the harassment of a former partner and threatening to slit her throat.

But he had out of trouble for ten years.

A five year restraining order was made under which the defendant is banned from going within 500 metres of Lawson Road and he is not to approach the complainant and three other prosecution witnesses.

Prosecuting barrister Owen Edwards said that the victim answered a door at his flat on August 6 and found the defendant acting rather oddly and he appeared in a bad mood.

As he was closing the door he realised the defendant was armed with a machete.

The victim was then subjected to a sustained attack in which he suffered two wounds to the head and a highly unpleasant gaping wound to the hand.

Mr Edwards said: “The defendant immediately swung the machete at Mr Winstanley.”

The complainant bundled the defendant out of the doorway and as they grappled the two of them fell to the bottom of the stairs.

There were blood splatters on the stairs and while struggling the victim recalled being hit twice to the top of the head. That was also seen by a neighbour.

Most worrying of all was a blow which caused a serious injury to the palm of the hand – which the prosecution said was a defensive wound from a blow which appeared to have been aimed towards the neck.

The incident came to an end quickly when the defendant stopped in his tracks after the victim returned upstairs and shouted to him “If you come up here I will kill you.”

Mr Edwards said the victim did not seek immediate medical attention but got neighbours to help him stem the blood.

The following day he went to the accident and emergency department at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan but after a four hour wait returned home. The hand wound was stitched at Llandudno Hospital the day after.

The victim did not mention the wounds to his head and did not report the matter to the police until a second alleged incident between them, where both blamed each other.

Arrested and interviewed, Greene accepted that there had been an incident but claimed the machete was being returned to him by the complainant but in the process it was unsheathed and used against him.

Greene was due to go on trial today on a charge of wounding with intent but his guilty plea to a straight wounding charge was accepted by the prosecution.

Judge Parry warned him that if he had been convicted of the more serious charge then he could have received a seven year sentence.

Defending barrister Williams Staunton said that his client was unable to cope in what he described as rat infected and damp flats where there was the noise of doors slamming.

He made a “split second and extremely wrong” decision to use the machete.

The defendant did not accepted the full prosecution case against him but had acted unlawfully and caused the injuries, although he had suggested some injuries could have occurred during the fall down the stairs.

Greene was a man who was infirm with a heart condition and arthritis which meant he had to use a crutch.

The victim had initially been prepared to take what happened on the chin and not report the matter.

Greene now intended to move on with his life and on his release would move to the Manchester area where he had family, said Mr Staunton.

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