Western Mail

Man attacked former friend with a hammer, court hears

- PHILIP DEWEY Reporter philip.dewey@walesonlin­e.co.uk

AMAN hid behind a bush and hit his neighbour twice to the head with a hammer after ambushing him, a court has heard.

Brian Gunning, 53, is accused of attacking his former friend Paul Fletcher with a claw hammer, causing two wounds to his scalp requiring 28 stitches.

During the incident outside Gunning’s home in Caerphilly on January 20 the defendant is alleged to have told his neighbour to “die” before leaving him in a “shower” of blood on the floor.

When arrested Gunning is alleged to have told officers: “Where I come from you pick something up and hit them so yeah I hit the c*** with a hammer.”

Gunning, of Lon yr Odyn, Lansbury Park, denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawful wounding and claims he acted in self-defence.

A trial at Cardiff Crown

Court yesterday heard the defendant, known as Jock, and Mr Fletcher had known each other for around six years and had been on friendly terms, but had fallen out in the past two years.

Giving evidence at the trial, Mr Fletcher said Gunning had made a threat to him outside his partner Penny Pugh’s cafe in Caerphilll­y town centre on January 16 and claimed the defendant told him: “I’m going to have you.”

At around 8.30pm on January 20 Mr Fletcher, who uses a walking stick due to arthritis, went for a walk near his home. He said as he left the property, also in Lon yr Odyn, he saw the defendant in his bedroom window and he appeared to be “smirking”.

After five minutes Mr Fletcher decided to head back home due to the frost but said as he approached Gunning’s home he was confronted by the defendant.

The witness said: “He was swinging the hammer so I tried to protect myself and tried to get the hammer out of his hands so I hit him with my stick but he hit me on the hands with the hammer.

“He lunged and I thought he was going to throw the hammer at my face. I stepped backwards and fell onto the floor outside his property. When I turned round to pick myself up he hit me two times to the back of my head, saying: ‘Die you b******’.”

The court heard Gunning ran into his house and Mr Fletcher was left in a pool of blood on the floor.

Mr Fletcher was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport where he received treatment.

Gunning was arrested by police close to midnight and told them he had hit Mr Fletcher because he had “given him hell” and had used a walking stick to pull down his Sky cable.

In his police interview Gunning said he had acted in “lawful self-defence” after Mr Fletcher had banged on his door and was waving his stick around. He also claimed Mr Fletcher called him a paedophile and said he “wouldn’t be happy until he was dead”.

He said he grabbed the hammer, which had been lying on the stairs, after Mr Fletcher tried to get into the property and hit him before pushing him away.

Defence barrister Jeffrey Jones asked Mr Fletcher: “Is the truth of the matter you had fallen out with him and you have been accused of telling people he’s a convicted paedophile?

Mr Gunning said that was not the case and you could check with the police.” Mr Fletcher said: “I never called him a paedophile.”

The trial continues.

 ??  ?? Lon yr Odyn, Lansbury Park, Caerphilly
Lon yr Odyn, Lansbury Park, Caerphilly

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