Stratford man escapes jail after slashing love rival’s face with saw

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Adrian Webster.

A STRATFORD man who slashed a love rival across the face with a saw during a confrontation outside a woman’s home has escaped being jailed.
And a judge at Warwick Crown Court also decided not to order Adrian Webster to pay any compensation to his victim – who had turned up looking for a confrontation with him.
Webster had originally been charged with wounding Desmond McAuliffe with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, which he had denied.
But on the day of his trial at the court the prosecution added an alternative charge of unlawful wounding, to which he pleaded guilty.
Webster (51) of Masons Road, Stratford, was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and to pay £300 costs.
Prosecutor Tim Sapwell said that the two men ‘were both romantically involved with a woman’ who had been in an on-off relationship with Webster for some 13 years.
She had also been seeing Mr McAuliffe who Mr Sapwell said was aware of her relationship with Webster.
On May 5 last year she and Webster were at her home in Wellesbourne but she then went out having arranged to meet Mr McAuliffe in a pub.
Later they both returned to the house where Mr McAuliffe was planning to confront Webster.
“The defendant was aware of this, because she had told him this was what was going to happen.  She remembers Mr McAuliffe going for the defendant with his fist and the defendant hitting back,” said Mr Sapwell.
He pointed out that Webster had entered his guilty plea on the basis that he had been leaving the house when Mr McAuliffe had turned up in an aggressive state.
But at the time Webster, who regularly sells tools on E-bay, had a saw in his hand which he had been about to put in his car to take home to clean before selling it.
His basis of plea continued: “When Mr McAuliffe came running towards me he went to hit me with his fist, and I tried to push him away, but I still had the saw in my hand.”
As a result, Mr McAuliffe was slashed across the face with the saw, causing a 12cm wound and a detachment to his nasal septum, and the police were called.
Webster had left after the incident, but later that night he went to Leamington police station to hand himself in, taking the saw with him to give to the police.
Jane Brady, defending, said that had taken place just an hour after the incident, and there was ‘very good evidence that his remorse is genuine.’
“He didn’t mean to do what he had done.  There was some provocation from Mr McAuliffe by going to the address to confront him.”
Judge Peter Cooke, who had described the incident as ‘excessive self-defence,’ commented: “It was a single blow in an isolated incident by a man of previous good character.”
Miss Brady, who observed that there was no application for a restraining order to be made, said there had been no further incidents in the 17 months since the offence.
Sentencing Webster, Judge Cooke told him: “I am dealing with you in a way which is entirely faithful to your plea.  There was an element of provocation to which you were responding.
“You do not represent a risk of danger to the public. You are someone who has already taken stock of matters and conducted himself sensibly in the 17 months that have gone by.”
And he added: “I am not going to make a compensation order.  I am mindful that Mr McAuliffe came looking for you for a confrontation.”