A “machete”-wielding man was seen “laughing” after a “harrowing” attack in broad daylight, a court has heard. Darren Blease-Maguire, 26, became involved in a spat with another man at around 4pm on October 22, 2022, in the Cheshire town of Widnes.
Blease-Maguire, who accused the other man of threatening to set fire to his residence, “had his arm in the air” before bringing it closer to the man, who was not named in open court.
As the man began to “scream”, one witness told Liverpool Crown Court that Blease-Maguire could be seen “laughing” during the fight.
Describing the incident as “harrowing”, the witness said: “I don’t understand why he was laughing after he’s just injured this man.”
PC Christopher Sheffield, who was at the scene, told the court he saw a “panga-style” weapon of around 18 inches, which he called a “machete”.
The police officer reported seeing a wound of around fourinches, and the court heard the unnamed man headed into a local premises for paper towels to staunch the bleeding before attempting to re-engage with Blease-Maguire.
The man could be heard saying, “I’m going to kill him”, as surrounding bystanders attempted to persuade him against re-entering the fight.
The victim did not cooperate with the police investigation, and did not make a complaint.
Defending Blease-Maguire, Jeremy Rawson told the court that “continuing bad blood” had led to the fight, and that Blease-Maguire had taken alleged threats about burning his flat “seriously”.
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Bernice Campbell, prosecuting, said the defendent had already accumulated 15 convictions for 25 offences including battery, public order, possessing Class A and B drugs, failure to comply with a community order, and thefts.
He was under a community order at the time of the incident in October 2022.
Sentencing, the judge described the “frightening weapon” used by Blease-Maguire “to hurt somebody” on a “sunny, Saturday afternoon”.
They told the defendent, who appeared via videolink from prison: “You were involved in a fight, and clearly the witness was very frightened by what she saw.
“You used a bladed weapon, I’ve seen it. I concur with the assessment it’s probably 18 inches long.
“It was a frightening weapon to have in public and you used it to hurt somebody.”
He added: “I’m glad to hear you’re making something of your time in prison as you’re going to be there for a while, as the custody threshold is passed.”
Blease-Maguire was sentenced to 20 months in prison.