'Sunderland man attacked blackmailer after he was lured to house for sex' - hears court
A blackmailer was left close to death by a victim who "turned the tables" when he was enticed to a house for sex, a court heard.
The man said he had been lured to a property by a couple for a sexual encounter with the woman.
But instead he was locked in, robbed and attacked with multiple knives by the pair.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 37-year-old, who feared he was about to be raped and said he was sexually assaulted, disarmed the female attacker then overpowered the male and left him with serious stab wounds and a severed main artery.
The man, from Sunderland, who cannot be named, was initially accused of attempted murder but pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding on the basis he acted in self defence, which went too far, which prosecutors accepted.
Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court the couple had allegations against them that they "targeted people susceptible to blackmail" and "enticed" them to their home then warned "if you tell anyone we will tell your family".
Mr Guiliani said when the man told police why he had lashed out with the knife, his account was initially viewed as "implausible and ludicrous" but "turned out to be accurate".
Mr Guiliani told the court: "Despite his position, he managed to get the better of them.
"What he did went way beyond what was reasonable, necessary or proportionate.
"It went from self defence to attack."
Mr Guiliani added: "The male was viciously attacked with the knife in the bathroom and, effectively, left for dead.
"When police went into the house the male was unconscious on the bathroom floor.
"There was a large stab wound and laceration to his neck and throat plus two stab wounds to his chest."
The court heard it was only intervention by a doctor at the scene that saved the male's life, who was in immediate danger of cardiac arrest.
The arrested man told police: "They were trying to rape me, what would you do if someone was trying to rape you?"
He told detectives: "I met a man and woman who invited me back to their flat. I thought the woman was offering me sex.
"We went by taxi to a property.
"When we got there they started taking drugs but I didn't.
"I wanted to leave but they had locked the door. They both started attacking me with knives.
"They kicked me to the head, stabbed me to the wrist.
"They were both out of control through drugs.
"One had a knife to my throat."
The man said to police that his trousers were pulled down and he was sexually assaulted before he managed to fight back.
Judge Penny Moreland sentenced the man to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and curfew requirements and said it was a "very, very unusual" set of circumstances.
The judge said: "I am told by the Crown the woman and man have had a number of similar complaints against them investigated from those who have been enticed back to the flat and then been robbed and or blackmailed.
"No prosecutions or convictions arise from the complaints, given the reluctance of the complainants who say they were victims to come forward."
The judge said the man had told police his trousers had been removed and he believed he was "going to be raped".
Judge Moreland added: "Of course, nothing can be said either way about the intentions of the man and woman but the Crown invite me to sentence on the basis he believed he was going to be raped.
"Having been robbed and believing he was going to be raped, he fought back and took a knife from either the man or the woman."
Judge Moreland said the male was left "close to death" in the attack and added: "This was certainly a case of excessive self defence."
Vic Laffey, defending, told the court: "It is accepted by the prosecution that the defendant was enticed to the property, him believing that he was going to be involved in some sort of intimate moment with the female when, in actual fact, it was going to be the complete opposite."
Mr Laffey added: "At some point, somehow, this man managed to turn the tables and get the better of the two of them.
"He accepts he went beyond what was reasonable, necessary and proportionate.
"He had no idea of the severity of the injuries he caused. He was desperate to get away from the scene. His desire was simply to get out of the situation into which he had been enticed."