A KNIFEMAN who tried to kill his ex-girlfriend’s new partner with a machete while he slept naked in her bed has been found guilty of attempted murder.
Gary Johnson repeatedly punched Christopher Spinks in the head before slashing his face and body with the large cleaver-like knife.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 26-year-old broke into Holly Dobson’s home in Braidwood Mews, Stanley, County Durham, at about 4.45am on August 9 last year.
He ran upstairs to her bedroom, where she lay in bed with Christopher, and launched into the violent onslaught while the victim was asleep and unable to defend himself.
The court heard how Holly, 31, tried to stop the attack on her new boyfriend of three weeks by grabbing Johnson’s shoulders, but she was unable to move him.
Johnson replied to her pleas to stop attacking the victim by saying: “I’ll kill him, I am going to kill him.”
Sarah Mallet, prosecuting, told the court: “Christopher Spinks was still asleep naked in bed when he was attacked, the prosecution say, by this defendant.
“Holly Dobson was panicking, she was unsure whether to stop the attack or find her phone and ring the police.
“Her partner’s ear was split open, his leg was split open and she could see the bone.
“She was trying to pull him off, begging him to stop, but the defendant said ‘I will kill him’.
“The defendant was using a machete.”
The court heard during the trial how Johnson was in a relationship with Ms Dobson for two years before she broke up with him due to his possessive behaviour.
Ms Mallet told the jury how Ms Dobson and Mr Spinks had been out for the evening before returning home at 2.30am and going to sleep.
The court heard how Johnson sent Ms Dobson seven texts including one saying: “He wants to hope he’s not at our house like defo,” and another which read “Tell him I’m waiting for him even if I have got to wait for ages” while she was asleep.
Holly told police in her first interview, shown to the jury, how she heard the latch on her front door break before Johnson ran into her bedroom and jumped on her partner, who was asleep.
When she dialled 999, Johnson allegedly ran from the house, taking the machete with him, before being arrested by police.
The victim was rushed to hospital, suffering from cuts to his head, cheek, nose, and ear. He was also slashed four times on the leg.
During her police interview, Ms Dobson said: “Christopher was like a little rag doll, he was just punching him in the head.
“Christopher wasn’t saying anything, he was unconscious. He didn’t have a chance to even wake up.
“It was absolutely horrendous, he was like a caged animal.
“I tried to pull him off when he was punching him, but I couldn’t move him.
“I grabbed him by his shoulders but he didn’t move. He was fixed on hurting him.
“He came off him and stood up, and that is when he started whipping him.
“I never left the bedroom, I was running around like a mad woman begging him to stop.
“He said ‘no, I am going to kill him’. I noticed Christopher’s ear was hanging off.
“He was hitting him with a machete. I don’t know how he is not dead.
“I will never sleep again. I feel absolutely traumatised, I feel sick.
“I never thought he was that evil. I never thought he had it in him to be that nasty.”
Johnson, of Pelaw Avenue, Chester-le-Street, denied attempted murder, but was found guilty by a jury after a week-long trial at Newcastle Crown Court.
Mr Spinks said after the verdict: “I am so happy, I have never felt as happy in my life.
“I had never seen him before, so I didn’t even know what he looked like.
“I was fast asleep when he carried out the attack, so the first time I saw him was when I came to court.
“It is a relief to finally get the guilty verdict.”
Johnson will be sentenced during the week commencing February 9.