Man denies attempted murder in pub

A MAN accused of using a machete to attack another man in a bar fight - leaving him with head wounds and almost cutting off his thumb - has denied attempted murder.

A MAN accused of using a machete to attack another man in a bar fight - leaving him with head wounds and almost cutting off his thumb - has denied attempted murder.

Trevor Lilley, 57, from Bader Close, Ipswich, denies attempting to kill David Nicholls, who he is accused of attacking with the 14-inch blade at the Grinning Rat pub, St Helen's Street, Ipswich, on June 27.

Mr Nicholls, who gave evidence against Lilley at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, is still receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained in the assault. Lilley admits wounding with intent.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said: “Both men were in the pub and they had arguments during the evening. The defendant was told to leave by the landlady.

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“He got a taxi home, got a machete and went back to the pub. He went to the beer garden, attacked Mr Nicholls, and death would have resulted had a courageous bystander not intervened.”

The court heard the pair, who had known and disliked each other for some time, had already argued and had a fist fight in the pub that night before Lilley disappeared.

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Mr Nicholls had also taken a pocket knife from Lilley and handed it in behind the bar before he left the pub, but he soon returned with the machete and attacked Mr Nicholls from behind, the court was told.

He struck his victim on the forehead, then on his right hand, almost cutting his thumb off. Mr Nicholls also sustained two cuts to the back of his head, one to the bridge of his nose, and one between his fingers.

A young bystander grabbed the blade as Lilley attempted to hit Mr Nicholls with the machete again, sustaining a cut to his hand. Lilley admits causing him actual bodily harm.

Mr Nicholls said: “I heard a bit of commotion, turned around, looked and I saw Mr Lilley. All I could see was the knife coming down, which hit me on the forehead, and the boy behind trying to stop him.

“The look in [Lilley's] eyes looked like he wanted to kill me, definitely. After he hit me I tugged him to the ground and I sat on top of him, grabbed his hands and looked at him.

“He was staring at me and I said 'You are going to prison for this' and he said 'I know, let me up.'

Mr Nicholls sat on Lilley until police arrived. Officers were immediately directed to the beer garden, where they found the defendant lying underneath his victim. Both were covered in blood.

The court heard officers had to drag Mr Nicholls off his assailant, as he refused to let him go despite his wounds.

According to a police statement, Lilley said: “You're lucky I don't have my gun, if it wasn't so big I would have come back with that.”

In police interviews following his arrest Lilley said he drank more than 14 pints of lager on the day of the attack. He claimed he found the machete in a garden close to the pub.

He told police officers: “I did not have any intentions of doing anything with it. I do not know why I picked it up.”

The trial continues today.

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