Rushden man fractured victim’s skull in samurai sword attack in Wellingborough

David McNeil. NNL-180222-123345005
David McNeil. NNL-180222-123345005

A Rushden man who left his victim with lasting damage after attacking him with a samurai sword has been jailed.

David McNeil, 37, of Horrell Court, was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon.

Yesterday (Thursday) Northampton Crown Court heard how he launched the sustained attack on April 20 last year in Brickhill Road, Wellingborough.

The victim drove past McNeil and his associates before stopping, when McNeil approached him with a ‘menacing’ look on his face.

McNeil shouted “I have got something for you” before he struck his van with an object.

When the victim got out of his van to assess the damage, McNeil pulled out a 2ft-long samurai sword.

He struck him in the face and then again on the arm when the victim put his arms up to protect himself.

Prosecuting, James Keeley said: “Such was the force that the defendant used, the blade became dislodged from the handle.

“The defendant fled with the handle in his hand.”

The victim suffered cuts to his head and arm and swelling on his head.

He was taken to University Hospital Coventry where he was found to have a fractured skull.

The fracture required an operation and he spent the next four days in hospital.

He now suffers from tinnitus and ‘excruciating’ headaches and has had to move himself and his family from the area.

Mr Keeley added: “He has suffered tremendously.”

A victim impact statement read to the court said: “I want my life to be as it was but it cannot happen now.”

The day after the attack police attended an address in nearby Lea Way and McNeil was found by a police dog hiding under a bed.

Police also seized a wooden sheath in the rubbish which fitted the recovered blade.

After being arrested, he offered no comment in police interviews.

McNeil has numerous previous convictions for violent crimes such as wounding and ABH, committed when he was a teenager.

Ann Cotcher, mitigating, said McNeil had been addicted to drugs since a very early age and this had led him down a criminal path.

She said: “It is no coincidence that when he is involved in drugs he commits crimes.”

She added that he had been clean for the past eight months he had spent in custody and was making real progress.

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Lucking QC said McNeil posed a serious risk to the public.

McNeil was jailed for 13 years for causing grievous bodily harm and three years for possessing an offensive weapon, to be served concurrently.

He will served at least two-thirds of the 13-year term before being eligible for parole.

He will also be subject to an extended licence period of three years when he is released.