Man jailed for 'cowardly' stabbing in Desborough

The victim said he has become a 'nervous wreck' and had to move out of the area

A man has been jailed for stabbing a man in Desborough after a two-and-a-half year feud.

Matthew Lee, 27, left his victim a 'nervous wreck' and so terrified he had to move house following the attack in Harrington Road on November 6 last year.

Fortunately his injuries only required stitches after he used his arm to block the attempt to stab him in the stomach.

Matthew Lee.

Yesterday (Friday) at Northampton Crown Court Lee, of Nunnery Avenue in Rothwell, was jailed for five-and-a-half years.

The court heard a series of disputes over more than two years had seen the victim, a man in his 40s, threatened by Lee and an accomplice. Prosecutor James Bide-Thomas said he had been told he couldn't have the name of Lee's accomplice for GDPR reasons, something he described as "somewhat absurd".

The victim was at work and driving in his van with a colleague at about 11am in Gold Street, when he noticed two vehicles travelling the opposite way. One was a van being driven by Lee and the other was a Ford Mondeo driven by his accomplice.

As he went past them and into Harrington Road both vehicles performed a U-turn and followed him, before what His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo described as a 'pincer' move.

The Mondeo driver shot in front of him before getting out and grabbing a shovel as Lee's van stayed behind, leaving the victim with nowhere to go as he got out of his vehicle.

Mr Bide-Thomas said: "He saw Lee get out of his van and pull a mask with a skull on it over his face.

"He had a knife in his hand."

In an incident caught on CCTV the victim kicked out as his terrified colleague was told by the un-named offender that he would stay in the vehicle "if he knew what was good for him".

Lee then attempted to stab the victim in the stomach but instead stabbed him in the forearm after the blow was blocked.

In total Lee inflicted 'two or three stab wounds', the court heard.

Mr Bide-Thomas said: "Fortunately there was no nerve or tendon damage and the injury was treated by stitches."

But while he was discharged from hospital two days later, the court heard of the emotional toll the attack had on the man who was stabbed.

He had to take three weeks off work and was so scared he decided to move away from the area.

Lee, who appeared at court over videolink from HMP Lincoln, had threatened to slit his throat and his accomplice told him he would burn his house down, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement, read in court, he said: "As a result of this incident I have been a physical nervous wreck."

Lee was arrested later that day and charged with GBH with intent, which he admitted yesterday having changed his plea from not guilty.

Mitigating, James Horne said Lee was extremely remorseful for his actions and that he had never been in trouble before, adding that he admitted responsibility for the incident knowing it would land him in prison.

He said: "His actions in reality were extremely cowardly...his decision to enter a guilty plea is, in contrast, brave."

Mr Horne added that Lee, who was supported by family members in the public gallery, was a hard worker who intends to use his time in custody wisely.

He said: "He knows that where he is is where he deserves to be."

Lee was told he would spend half of his five-and-a-half year sentence in custody with the remainder on licence.