A man has been jailed for five years after he attacked his neighbour with a machete following a minor dispute about grass cuttings.
Crazed Paul Sanderson, 44, warned neighbour Wayne Peckham he was ”going to get it” after accusing him of dumping compost over a fence into his garden.
Days later Sanderson confronted his neighbour while he was hosting a family barbecue and sliced into his face with a 2ft long machete as if he was ”chopping off a branch”.
Wayne suffered a 10 inch wound to his forehead and a fractured skull as his attacker leapt into a taxi and went on the run from police for two days.
Ex-drug user Sanderson was jailed for five years at Norwich Crown Court on Monday after admitting wounding with intent.
Deputy circuit judge Nicholas Philpot said: ”No level of dispute between neighbours over grass cuttings could justify the use of a machete on a neighbour.”
Prosecutor William Carter told the court Wayne returned from a family holiday to find a note from his neighbour accusing him of dumping grass cuttings over the fence.
On July 10 this year jobless Sanderson armed himself with a machete and attacked Wayne on his driveway of his house in Hilgay, Norfolk.
Mr Carter said: ”When the Peckhams came back from holiday they found some grass cuttings dumped at the bottom of the garden with a note saying, ‘I don’t need your rubbish. I’ve got enough of my own’.
”On July 10 the Peckhams were having a barbecue when a neighbour warned them that someone was throwing things around near his van.
”When Mr Peckham went to move his van he was confronted by Sanderson and a stream of foul language, saying he was ‘going to get it’.
”At this point, Sanderson raised his hand high and Mr Peckham saw he had a machete with a 2ft blade in it.
”Sanderson lashed out at Mr Peckham, cutting a hand raised in protection, and then slashed his victim across the forehead leaving a 10cm long cut and a bone fracture.”
Two neighbours rushed to help and tried to stem the blood from Wayne’s hand, which was ‘bleeding profusely’, before paramedics arrived.
When interviewed by police Wayne described how Sanderson aimed a blow to his head as if he was ”chopping off a branch”.
Police armed response units, a helicopter and dog units were called after Sanderson fled the scene in a taxi. The machete was never found.
He was arrested two days later after he handed himself into a local police station.
Wayne received plastic surgery and was discharged from hospital the day after the attack.
He has reduced sensation in his left hand, where he suffered a deep cut through the web between his thumb and first finger.
Katharine Moore, mitigating, revealed no compensation can be awarded as Sanderson is unfit for work and on benefits.
He has previous convictions for theft and burglary, which were committed while he was trying to quit drugs, she added.
Detective Constable Sarah Mitchell, of Lynn CID, praised the five-year sentence handed to Sanderson.
She said: ”This was a very nasty and unexpected assault that happened while the victim was enjoying a family barbecue.
”We hope the lengthy custodial sentence helps Mr Peckham and his family put the incident behind them and will also deter others from taking the law into their own hands in this way.”
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