Man jailed for pub knife attack

A DRINKER who slashed another pubgoer's neck with a knife in a "savage" attack has been jailed for three years.Gary Cockerill, 37, attacked JolyonRead in Milton's Bar in Bury St Edmunds for making fun of his nickname "Noodle".

A DRINKER who slashed another pubgoer's neck with a knife in a "savage" attack has been jailed for three years.

Gary Cockerill, 37, attacked JolyonRead in Milton's Bar in Bury St Edmunds for making fun of his nickname "Noodle".

The attack on February 27 this year, left Mr Read with a 12cm-long cut to his throat and an ugly scar for life. Doctors who treated the 31-year-old told him he was "lucky to be alive".

Cockerill, of Newmarket Road, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.


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Judge David Goodin told Cockerill: "You reacted appallingly to puerile and unthreatening provocation by your victim."

He described the attack as "savage" and said Mr Read's injury "could have been much worse than it was".

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Peter Fenn, prosecuting, said Mr Read had been drinking in town with friends on February 27 and had gone to Milton's Bar, owned by former Ipswich Town star Simon Milton, at about 11.30pm.

Mr Read had a brief conversation with Cockerill, whom he vaguely knew, in the bar and laughed with friends after hearing his nickname.

Soon afterwards, Cockerill approached Mr Read as he was dancing and held up a craft knife with his finger on the retractor button.

"Within a split-second, the defendant raised the hand in which he was carrying the knife and, in a swiping motion, cut across Mr Read's neck, so fast he didn't have a chance to step back," added Mr Fenn.

Mr Read was able to run out of the bar and call 999 for an ambulance. He was treated in hospital for the cut, which sliced through skin and muscle, and doctors told him it could have killed him.

Mr Fenn said Mr Read, who is married with a young daughter, had been badly affected by the incident and was still nervous about going into town. He had a month off work after the attack.

Angus Gloag, mitigating, said Cockerill had the knife with him as he had gone drinking straight from his work at builders' merchants Marlows, in Bury.

He said his client had drunk about 14 pints with a friend and became enraged after Mr Read laughed at his nickname and was "dancing in his face".

Cockerill did not realise exactly what he had done and was detected after he went back to the bar to get his mobile phone the next day, Mr Gloag added.

He said Cockerill, who has previous convictions for grievous bodily harm and assault, had been living a "positive and constructive" life but continued to have a problem with alcohol.

"In the clear light of day there is no rational explanation for his actions," said Mr Gloag. Cockerill was told he would serve half his sentence in jail.

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