Brave neighbour broke up knife fracas

From the courts
From the courts

A JUDGE praised a brave neighbour after he intervened between an offender who produced a knife during a doorstep scuffle with another man.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard last week how Robert Watts, who had been in a five-year relationship with Wayne Green, was attacked during a row between them at his home in Briardene Close, Chesterfield.

Mr Watts told police they had been for a drink and returned home by taxi. Green, according to the court, then grabbed Mr Watts and banged his head against the porch wall.

He tried to run off but Green pulled him back into the house and fetched a knife and placed it against his own throat, Chesterfield magistrates heard.

The incident, about 11.30pm, on November 26, was witnessed by next door neighbour Kevin Spencer who saw the pair fighting on the porch floor.

Becky Mahon, prosecuting, said he went outside and spoke to Mr Watts who was hysterical and said, ‘He’s kicking the life out of me’.

Green then produced a large knife and held it level with his head. Mr Spencer told Green to back off and stood in front of him.

“He seemed calm which was weird as he then moved the knife towards his own throat,” said Mr Spencer, who ushered Mr Watts to safety at his address.

Green told police both he and Mr Watts had been drunk. He said he self-harmed and would never have used the knife against Mr Watts.

Green, 36, of Storth Lane, Kiveton Park, admitted assault. He has no previous convictions.

District Judge Andrew Davison imposed a 16 week, 7pm-7am curfew, a one-year probation supervision order, and a one-year restraining order banning him from contacting Mr Watts to whom he must pay £200 compensation. He must pay a £60 victims-of-crime fund surcharge and £85 costs.

Mr Davison said: “It was commendable behaviour by the neighbour who stepped between them. It was a remarkably brave thing to do and we’ll never know if it prevented a more serious incident.”

Bob Bashforth, for Green, said he had been drinking and remembered little except fighting for reasons unknown and he held a knife against himself. There had been previous police visits and there appeared to be a pattern of drinking and fighting. Mr Bashforth added Green had apparent mental health issues, self harms and has threatened suicide.