Man slashed with blade across face feared for his life, jury told

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The crown court in Southampton
Southampton Crown Court in London Road

A MAN told a jury he was “scared for his life” when he was slashed across the face with a knife while fending off a sudden attack in a Christchurch shed.

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Steven Wootton broke down in tears at Southampton Crown Court after describing his horror at feeling a “horrible warm sensation” when Andrew Hiscock lunged at him.

“I was pretty scared for my life at this point,” Mr Wootton said, adding at first he did not realise Hiscock had concealed a knife in his hand as he slashed repeatedly.

“When he first cut me I genuinely thought it might be a punch but it felt a little strange because I had never been stabbed before,” he added. “The second time he hit me I felt a horrible warm sensation across my face, at the side of my face and the top of my lip.”

Prosecutor Gemma White told the court Mr Wootton had in fact suffered a wound that required surgery and caused permanent scarring.

Hiscock is one of two men – the other being David Cotton – who this week went on trial accused of attacking and injuring Steven Wootton and his friend Bradley Nash with knives during an incident on 20th April. It happened at Mr Nash’s home in Everest Road at around 9.15pm.

Opening the trial, Mrs White told the court Hiscock (33) and Cotton (30) had been drinking throughout the afternoon that day and spent some time with Cotton’s then-partner Jasmine Cole.

After she told them of a “previous incident” involving Sean Wootton – who is Steven Wootton’s brother – the pair went looking for him, the court heard.

When they arrived at Mr Nash’s home, his mother Tracey answered the door. The pair said they wanted to speak with Sean, but seeing they were intoxicated, Tracey told them he was not there and shut the door on them.

However, Mrs White continued, they shouted for Sean, who at the time was inside what was descried in court as a “shed” or “garage” attached to the home with his brother, Mr Nash and another friend called Nathan. They were playing video games.

Hiscock and Cotton spotted them and forced their way in, despite those inside trying to stop them, Mrs White said.

Cotton “burst in” and aimed and landed punches at the men inside, first striking Sean, which prompted Sean and Mr Nash to resist him.

Hiscock aggressively shouted “Do you want some?” at Sean as he entered, before slashing at him and turning on Steven.

“He [Hiscock] made repeated aims towards his [Steven’s] torso and face, and he dodged some of them, but he was slashed in the face by the jawline and a second slash to his face across his left lip and towards his nose,” Mrs White said.

“Steven then saw Andrew Hiscock and David Cotton aiming slashing motions towards Bradley Nash, and Andrew Hiscock connected with his [Mr Nash’s] stomach and arm.”

The victims managed to get out of the shed and the confrontation spilled into the back garden of the property, Mrs White said.

Tracey Nash got in between the men, shouting at both Hiscock and Cotton that she knew who they were and was calling the police.

One of the men said they would leave when they “gave up Sean” and insisted the incident was “nothing to do with drugs”, Mrs White added, before Cotton apologised for what had happened and the pair fled.

Steven and Mr Nash were both taken to hospital and treated for “serious injuries” – Mr Nash having suffered “deep lacerations” to his arm and been slashed across his stomach.

Steven attended Poole Hospital the following day and had his slash wounds stitched. “He was left with permanent facial scarring as a result,” Mrs White said.

After the incident Hiscock was arrested nearby and discovered to be in possession of a knife that was attached to his body with a rope.

Forensic examination of the knife showed it contained DNA belonging to Steven, Mr Nash and his co-accused, Mrs White told the court.

Meanwhile Cotton went to hospital for treatment to injuries to his arm, and was arrested.

He claimed to police and medics his injuries were caused by “falling over in a field” after buying some chips, Mrs White said.

The prosecutor explained Cotton had been to a chip shop that night – a selfie proved as much – and he told medics he spent the day drinking with Hiscock and had consumed around “10 pints”.

Cotton and Hiscock both admit being at the scene but insist they acted in self-defence, Mrs White told the jury.

“They claim they were not the aggressors,” she said. “They insist they were the subject of an attack from Sean Wotton and his friends.”

When Steven gave evidence, defence barristers for the defendants insisted that it was Sean who wrestled the defendants into the shed and caused the commotion.

Acting for Hiscock, Lucy Conroy claimed the defendants had shouted for “fatboy” – a known nickname of Sean – and he replied by shouting back and asking the person “who his mummy was”. The commotion ensued after, she added.

However, Steven said that was “false” and he insisted the men barged their way into the shed, which he said was closed, to attack them.

Between them Cotton, of Caxton Close, Christchurch, and Hiscock, of Hunt Road, Christchurch, face a total of six charges – which they deny.

They are jointly charged with wounding with intent, or the alternate charge of unlawfully wounding Mr Nash.

Hiscock alone is accused of wounding with intent or unlawfully wounding Steven, as well as one more count of having an offensive weapon.

Cotton faces a further matter of having a blade in a public place.

The trial, which is expected to last five to seven days, continues.

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