Scot Squaddie Accused In Machete Attack

An Army colour sergeant attacked a fellow soldier with a machete, slicing his arm to the bone, because his "pride was slighted'' in an argument in a pub, a court has heard.

John Norwood, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, is accused of searching for his victim, Lance Sergeant James Warnock, for several hours at their barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire, before finding him in his bedroom where he struck him with "slashing blows''.

The 38-year-old is accused of wounding with intent L/Sgt Warnock, 24, who suffered a severe wound to his shoulder as well as a wound to his hand when he tried to defend himself, the court heard.

David Richards, prosecuting, told Portsmouth Crown Court that Norwood had at about 3am gone to the wrong room, belonging to Craftsman Nicholas Wood, 24, and swung the machete - used by the Army for clearing foliage - at him as he lay in bed, slicing the duvet, although he did not hurt him.

Norwood faces a second charge of attempted wounding with intent in relation to this incident.

When he realised he had the wrong person, Norwood continued his search until he located the room of L/Sgt Warnock at about 5am and attacked him, the jury was told.

Mr Richards said the attack at Mons barracks followed a confrontation in The George pub in Aldershot town centre which began as Norwood slapped L/Sgt Warnock, who was two ranks below him, around the face.

He said that after banging his fists on the bar and pointing at L/Sgt Warnock, the defendant confronted him again, which ended with L/Sgt Warnock punching Norwood twice, knocking him to the ground.

Both men were removed from the pub by bouncers and Norwood went back to the barracks by taxi.

Mr Richards said: "Angered for whatever reasons, maybe his pride was slighted in the pub, he worked himself into a real tizzy.

"When he was punched and knocked to the ground by the younger man, that was too much for him, so he went looking for him, determined to have it out with him.

"When he swung that blade, he intended what is only natural when you swing a weapon like that - he intended to cause him really serious harm, GBH, and with that intent he severely wounded James Warnock.''

Mr Richards said Norwood also suffered a wound to his arm in the attack on L/Sgt Warnock and when the younger man said to him "Look at what you have done, stop'', the defendant, realising his own injury, halted the attack.

The pair went to the guards room where Norwood told a paramedic "it had all happened because they were playing around with knives'', Mr Richards said.

The prosecutor said that Norwood, of Priesthill Road, Pollok, Glasgow, told police in interview that he had not intended to hurt L/Sgt Warnock and insisted he had been "bottled'' by him in the pub, not punched as the prosecution claims.

Norwood denies the two charges and the case continues.


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