City Watch



A drink and drug-fuelled house guest attacked an innocent victim with a broken wine glass at a house party, a court heard.

Mark Astill, who was jailed for five years, left the victim with blood spurting out of his arm and hand, fearing he would die. The incident happened after Astill became "paranoid" thinking people were talking about him. He made inappropriate comments and was asked to leave the premises in Beatrice Road, Leicester, on June 27.
Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said that the victim's girlfriend, who lived there, and her mother, were showing him to the door, at about 3am. The defendant suddenly turned around and went back towards the victim, Gavin Russell, 33, who was sitting on a sofa holding a glass of wine. Mr Russell's girlfriend (18) tried to pull the defendant away, but was left holding Astill's jacket as he shrugged it off. Mr Murphy said: "Before Mr Russell could react the defendant took his glass out of his hand, smashed it against a wall and thrust the jagged edge into his arm, near his right elbow. He went to strike him again and Mr Russell raised his arm to protect himself and got a second blow on the back of his left hand. Mr Russell's right arm was spurting blood everywhere and some went onto the walls. He was very scared. The ambulance took so long, it simply didn't arrive, so he went to hospital by taxi, arriving at 4.50am."
The victim, who was in hospital for two days, had a blood transfusion and underwent exploratory surgery to examine the "severe" arm injury.
Mr Murphy said: "On arrest he said he was very intoxicated and could not remember the incident." Astill told the officers he thought the victim was "a good guy."
The court heard that Astill, who was heavily drunk, told Mr Russell earlier that evening he had also taken MCat. Astill (26), of St Mary's Avenue, Braunstone, Leicester, admitted wounding with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm.
Judge Robert Brown said Astill had an "appalling" record of previous convictions, including violence. He said: "Something happened and you became violent and you snatched his wine glass and I'm satisfied you smashed it before using it as a weapon. Mr Russell lost a significant amount of blood from his wounds and he thought his injuries were life threatening, as did others at the scene. Fortunately they weren't and a medical report confirms he didn't have any major artery or nerve injuries.

Details from Leicester Mercury









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