Doncaster pensioner ‘jabbed’ neighbour with kitchen knife because he feared for his life during fight over fence panel

Manor Road, Harlington
Manor Road, Harlington
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A Doncaster pensioner ‘jabbed’ his neighbour at least half a dozen times with a kitchen knife during a fight about a garden fence because he feared for his life, a court heard.

Arthur Jepson, of Manor Road, Harlington, told Sheffield Crown Court that a fight broke out at his property after he threw a panel off his fence into the garden of his next door neighbour, Nicholas McNaughton.

Jepson, standing trial for attempted murder, said he threw the panel because he believed Mr McNaughton had deliberately moved it from where it had been tied up when he left his property earlier that day.

Giving evidence in his defence, the 66-year-old said that shortly after throwing the panel, Mr McNaughton turned on his bedroom light and ‘within seconds’ he was in his garden and had begun attacking him.

He said: “I knew it was Nicky. There was a big black Hulk right in front of me.

“He was straddling me, that’s how I’d describe it.

“I was absolutely petrified and I was fearing for my life because of the ferocity of the blows he was reigning down on me. I tried to fight the blows off with my left arm, but he just kept hitting me with a vengeance that was fearing me. I thought I was going to die.”

Describing the moment he stabbed Mr McNaughton, Jepson told the court he picked up a knife that he had left nearby while gardening earlier that day.

He said: “I used it on Nicholas in a jabbing, flailing fashion. He had no reaction at all. I jabbed him some more. All I wanted was to get him off me. I jabbed him a dozen times or more. I found that one of the blows hit a vulnerable point and he instantly stopped.

“There was a spurt of blood. I saw it in the light of the motorbike light. I also felt the blood.

“He ran into his house and I went to call the police.”

Prosecuting, Andrew Epsley questioned whether Jepson had been in any great danger during the fight.

He said: “You didn’t nearly die, or suffer anywhere near what Mr McNaughton did, did you?”

Mr McNaughton severed an artery in his arm during the violence.

The court was told how Jepson and McNaughton had previously been friends, and spent time together enjoying fishing trips and meals at Jepson’s house.

The relationship soured over a dispute about the boundary of a garden fence on the shared driveway of the two properties.

Jepson told the court Mr McNaughton had physically assaulted him on at least three occasions prior to the stabbing on March 7 this year.

Jepson denies one charge of attempted murder and one charge of wounding with intent.

The trial continues.