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Felixstowe: 70-year-old cleared of unlawfully injuring neighbour after 73-year-old sustained 11 stab wounds

16:00 07 February 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

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A mentally ill Felixstowe pensioner has been cleared of unlawfully assaulting his next door neighbour during a row.

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John Hubbard was arrested and charged with attempting to murder Malcolm Hockley after Mr Hockley was taken to hospital with 11 wounds to his head, face, neck and thigh in May 2010.

Since then Hubbard, 70, has been detained under the Mental Health Act and earlier this week he was declared unfit to attend court.

As a result a jury was asked to listen to evidence from witnesses and decide in Hubbard’s absence if he caused Mr Hockley’s injuries and whether or not he was acting in reasonable self-defence.

After a two day hearing the jury said it was not satisfied that Hubbard had unlawfully injured Mr Hockley.

Announcing the decision the jury foreman commended the actions of Graham Roberts who bravely intervened in the incident.

During the hearing the court heard that Mr Hockley was allegedly attacked at his home in Exmoor Road, Felixstowe, by Hubbard after Mr Hockley complained about Hubbard banging, shouting and swearing at all hours of the day in his bungalow.

Valerie Charbit, prosecuting, told the court that Hubbard had a history of mental health problems and during the afternoon of May 29 Mr Hockley had become annoyed by him making banging noises and shouting to himself and had knocked on his lounge window and asked him to quieten down.

Mr Hockley returned to his bungalow but shortly afterwards Hubbard had walked in through the back door and allegedly stabbed him with a kitchen knife and attacked him with a spade.

At one stage 73-year-old Mr Hockley tried to defend himself with his walking stick but had fallen to the ground where he was allegedly kicked and punched by Hubbard.

Miss Charbit alleged that Hubbard told Mr Hockley he was going to “finish him” and when Mr Hockley asked him to stop because he would get into trouble Hubbard had allegedly replied: “I don’t care as long as I kill you.”

A woman who had been walking her dog went to Mr Hockley’s bungalow after hearing him calling for help and saw Hubbard kicking and punching Mr Hockley whose face was covered in blood.

She went to get help from Mr Roberts who lived nearby and he had managed to get between the two men until the emergency services arrived.

Mr Hockley was taken to hospital where he was found to have 11 stab wounds to his scalp, forehead, jaw, neck, cheek and left thigh and was kept in hospital for a week.

Hubbard was also injured in the incident and suffered a deep gash on his little finger.

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