Man denies trying to kill acquaintance

A JURY is set to decide today whether a pub-goer tried to kill a long-term acquaintance by striking him with a machete.

Simon Tomlinson

A JURY is set to decide today whether a pub-goer tried to kill a long-term acquaintance by striking him with a machete.

Trevor Lilley, of Bader Close, Ipswich, is accused of attacking David Nicholls at the Grinning Rat pub in the town.

Lilley told Ipswich Crown Court yesterday that he had drunk around 20 pints of lager that day and could not remember the assault, which left Mr Nicholls with serious head wounds.

The 57-year-old has admitted wounding Mr Nicholls with intent, but denies attempted murder.

Lilley spent around £60 of his unemployment benefit on a drinking binge on June 27 before making his way to the Grinning Rat in St Helen's Street, where he saw Mr Nicholls.

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The court heard how the pair, who had known each other for around 40 years, had a fist fight before Lilley disappeared.

The jury was told how Lilley took a taxi home and picked up a 14-inch machete from his bedroom before returning to the pub, although he claims he only had a “very vague” memory of the trip.

When asked if he was aware of having the knife in his hand, Lilley replied: “I think so, yeah. I'm not sure.

“I remember raising it above my head, but nothing else after that.”

He struck Mr Nicholls on the forehead and then on his hand, almost cutting off his thumb, the court heard.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said the consequences could have been far worse had a brave bystander not grabbed the blade as Lilley attempted to strike Mr Nicholls again.

Mr Sadd said: “How many times would you have hit him? When you brought that machete down upon Mr Nicholls' head, what did you think was going to happen?

“Why did you select a machete? Was that the first thing you could get hold of? It was only a matter of steps to get a chair.”

When asked what he was trying to do to Mr Nicholls, Lilley replied: “I meant to knock him out.

“I wanted to be violent towards him. I never gave it a thought it would kill him.”

Summing up, Mr Sadd said: “A person who uses a weapon like this upon the skull of another person can mean no other thing than this - 'I wish to kill him'.”

Lilley's lawyer, Simon Spence, said his client admitted causing Mr Nicholls serious harm, but he did not intent to kill him.

Mr Spence said: “When you step back and look at the evidence rather than ask a speculative question, the answer is he could have intended a number of other things.

“Although there was a lot of blood spilt, none of Mr Nicholls' injuries were life-threatening.”

The trial continues today.

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