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Attack victim was left with knife “buried into his face” trial jury told

Carlisle Crown Court

A MAN accused of trying to kill a man who was left with a knife “buried into his face” following a night-time street attack in Wigton has gone on trial.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today (MON) how a “simmering argument” developed in the town between 39-year-old Scott Topping and Robert Pattinson on April 12 this year.

“It ended,” prosecutor Jeremy Grout-Smith alleged to a jury, “with the defendant (Topping) trying to kill Robert Pattinson by stabbing him with a large knife with a blow that’s been described as a right hook, that was probably aimed for the throat. But the knife actually stuck in Robert Pattinson’s face.”

The incident occurred just before 10-30pm on King Street, outside the Throstles Nest pub, where the men had earlier been drinking in separate groups.

Jurors were warned injury images they would see of Mr Pattinson after the attack were “graphic” and “shocking”. “Five inches of the blade was buried into his face,” revealed Mr Grout-Smith. It was embedded in the bony structures of the lower skull, missing the carotid artery by only millimetres.

Mr Pattinson, aged in his 20s, underwent emergency surgery to have the knife removed and, said Mr Grout-Smith, was “very lucky to be alive”.

Topping, who had taken cocaine and cannabis before an incident of which he is said to have “little or no recollection”, was involved in an hour-long stand-off with police in the aftermath before being arrested. Topping was heard to say: “If he’s not dead I don’t want to know or I’m not interested”. He also stated, the court heard: “I stab people because I’m good at it.”

Jurors have been told Topping, of Mulligans Court, Wigton, admits wounding Mr Pattinson, with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm. But he denies a charge alleging attempted murder.

The trial judge, His Honour James Adkin, told jurors of Topping: “He says he didn’t intend to kill, which is what the prosecution must prove.”

The trial continues.

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