Thug left victim needing surgery after terrifying New Year’s Day samurai sword attack

A thug who left a man needing surgery after a terrifying New Years' Day samurai sword attack has been put behind bars.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 5:00 am

Andrew Welsh and a group of pals were having a "good catch up" at a house in Pity Me, County Durham, in the early hours of January 1 last year before he "flew into a rage".

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 32-year-old then picked up an ornamental sword and warned his victim "I feel like battering you".

Prosecutor Richard Bennett told the court: "He lunged it wards the complainant's chest area, who jumped forward and effectively grabbed the blade and was able to lower the point down to below hip level."

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Andrew Welsh.

The court heard when Welsh saw blood pouring from the victim's hand he was "brought to his senses" and the attack stopped.

The victim, who suffered nerve damage to his hand, needed surgery and has been left permanently scarred.

Five months after the violence, Welsh went to the home of a woman in Hetton who had witnessed the sword attack, and warned her "get those statements dropped".

Welsh, of no fixed address, who has previous convictions and is currently serving a prison sentence for burglary, later pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and intimidation.

The case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Recorder Ben Nolan QC sentenced him to a total of 30 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "You were having a convivial evening but for reasons probably related to your consumption of crack cocaine it went horribly wrong."

Stephen Hamill, defending, said: "It was a drug induced spur of the moment decision to lift the display sword and inflict a single blow.

"Whatever possessed him obviously left him the moment he saw the injury he inflicted and his humanity has kicked in."

Mr Hamill said Welsh gave the victim assistance after he inflicted the injury.