A CHRISTCHURCH man who left two others with “grave and lifelong” injuries after slashing them with a knife has been jailed for nearly three years.
Andrew Hiscock (33), of Hunt Road – who had a previous manslaughter conviction on his record – was handed a 33-month sentence at Southampton Crown Court, with Judge Nicholas Rowland branding his offending “very serious”.
The court heard victim statements from two men Hiscock targeted with a blade at the Somerford estate on 20th April this year.
One, Steven Wootten, was slashed across the neck and face and left with a visible scar that will stay with him for life.
He said he had suffered sleepless nights and depression, and had been sacked from his job as a carer because of fears his injuries were frightening clients.
“I want to say to the person who did this: you ruined somebody’s life trying to get the person you wanted,” Mr Wootten added.
The other victim, Bradley Nash, was left so traumatised he is now living abroad, he said in a statement. He described his scarring as “horrible”, and said he suffered with anxiety and could not get work.
Both victims claimed in the run-up to the trial they were threatened for cooperating with the prosecution. Mr Nash said he still feared someone in his family could be harmed.
Hiscock appeared before the court for sentence having been convicted by a jury following a trial on charges of unlawfully wounding Mr Wootten and Mr Nash.
The prosecution claimed him and a co-defendant, David Cotton, went looking for Sean Wootten – the brother of victim Steven – and found him with a group of friends at Mr Nash’s Everest Road home just after 9pm on 20th April.
It was alleged Hiscock and Cotton were armed with knives and initiated a confrontation during which Steven Wootten sustained a slash wound to his neck and Mr Nash a slash across his stomach.
The defendants claimed they were attacked and acted in self-defence. Cotton (30), of Caxton Close, Christchurch, was cleared of all allegations of wounding with intent or unlawfully wounding Mr Nash, and possessing a blade in public.
The jury also found Hiscock not guilty of two more serious alternate charges of wounding the victims with intent to do GBH, as well as a third matter of having an offensive weapon.
For Hiscock, Lucy Conroy suggested her client may have been guilty of “excessive self-defence”.
She alluded to the fact he had been drinking on the day and at the time was addicted to cannabis. Hiscock in the past had been threatened by Sean Wootten, she claimed, over money he owed in relation to the class B drug.
Hiscock, she continued, had a low IQ and a range of mental health difficulties. He was someone who was “easily led” and had experienced a difficult upbringing. He was very remorseful, “disgusted” with himself and “regretted” the incident,” Mrs Conroy stated.
There were long gaps between offences he had committed in the past which showed Hiscock could be a peaceful member of society, she added.
“I’d ask you keep this as manageable a custodial time for this young man as possible,” Mrs Conroy pleaded. “He needs the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.”
Judge Rowland accepted a lot of time had elapsed since the manslaughter conviction in 2005 and that Hiscock had stayed out of trouble for long periods.
However, sending him down for two years and nine months, the judge said: “You caused these men grave injuries – lifelong injuries which will have an effect on them, from the point of people looking at them, as well as emotionally and in terms of employment.”
Speaking after the hearing DC Ben Swain, of Bournemouth CID, said: “This was a violent offence committed by Andrew Hiscock when he was armed with a knife and left his victims with serious injuries.
“We will not tolerate offending of this nature and I would like to thank the victims and all the witnesses who gave evidence during the trial for their help in bringing Hiscock to justice.”