A man accused of fracturing a man's skull with a claw hammer in Mildenhall town centre has denied being the person responsible for the attack.

Martin Quince told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that he had been handed the claw hammer by another man and he had stupidly taken it and thrown it in a bin.

Quince, of Market Place in the west Suffolk town, denies grievous bodily harm, possession of drugs and possessing an offensive weapon. 

The 43-year-old is accused of hitting the victim over the head with a hammer in the early hours of November 12 last year.

It has been alleged that the victim had been arguing in the street with his wife and was confronted by another man who told him never to hit a woman. 

It has been alleged that Quince and a man called Phil became involved in the dispute and that Quince had pulled out a hammer from his sleeve and swung it at the victim's head.

A witness, who cannot be named, told the court the victim had fallen to the ground and Quince had said: “If he isn’t dead, I will make sure next time”.

Quince told the court on Friday he had left his flat and gone out into the street with his neighbour Phil after hearing people arguing.

He claimed that Phil had started an altercation with the victim and the two men had squared up to each other.

He said he saw Phil push the victim followed by another man throwing  a punch which knocked the victim to the ground.

He claimed the man who threw the punch then handed him a claw hammer and told him to get rid of it.

Questioned by his barrister Nicola May, Quince denied being involved in the attack on the victim.

The trial continues.