Man tells trial he slashed throat ‘by mistake’

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A MAN has denied deliberately slashing the throat of his girlfriend’s estranged husband and told a murder trial jury yesterday it happened accidentally.

Brian Cox told Leeds Crown Court he went out to calm the situation down after he saw Mark Webb arguing outside a house in York and had forgotten he was still holding a craft knife which he had been using to trim a carpet.

He was seeing Webb’s estranged wife Susan at the time, who was visiting the home of her friend Kerry Munton in Stuart Road, Acomb, and it was Miss Munton who was in the garden when Mr Webb arrived wanting to see his children, who were also inside.

Cox said he went out and asked Miss Munton if she was happy to let Mr Webb in and she told him: “I don’t want him in my house or in my garden, I want him out.”

He told Mr Webb he could not let him in and was talking to him when Susan Webb opened the back door and told her husband to “f... off” which caused Mr Webb to “take off at a rate of knots towards the door”.

Cox said that having worked as a doorman he knew how to restrain people and, fearing violence, he put his arms around the shoulders of Mr Webb to pull him back, without thinking about the knife.

When Mr Webb realised he was not getting to the door he turned around and Cox said it was then he saw the blood on his neck.

He said he pushed Mr Webb against a wall and tried to pinch the vein bleeding in his neck, which Miss Munton might have mistaken as a striking motion but he said that was not the case.

“I was trying to save his life because it was a very, very bad bleed but he wasn’t happy and continued to try and fight me.”

He did not think Mr Webb appreciated the seriousness. When they ended up at the front garden he tried to tell him to calm down. “He said ‘you’ve slashed me haven’t you? and I said “I didn’t mean to, mate.”

When Mr Webb refused his help Cox said he ran off.

He told the court he had intended to hand himself in to the police but was later told by Mrs Webb and Miss Munton they were going to say he was not there and so changed his mind.

The jury has heard Mr Webb collapsed outside the home where he had previously lived with Susan Webb nearby in Middleton Road, Acomb, his jugular vein having been severed.

Cox, 29, denies the murder of Mr Webb, 40, of Cornlands Road, York on March 4.

Susan Webb, 30, denies three charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and Dawn Coates,39, the mother of Cox’s son, of Chapel Terrace, York, denies one charge.

The trial continues on Monday.