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Machete murder bid accused 'wanted to put fear of God' into victim

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
The deadly weapon in question
The deadly weapon in question

An Army colour sergeant accused of the attempted murder of a fellow soldier said he wanted to "put the fear of God" into him but did not want to harm him.

John Norwood, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, is accused of "hunting" for his victim, Lance Sergeant James Warnock, for several hours at their barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire, UK, before attacking him with a machete, almost slicing his arm off.

The 38-year-old is accused of the attempted murder of L/Sgt Warnock, 24, who suffered a severe wound to his shoulder as well as wounds to his hands and wrist where he tried to defend himself in the incident in the early hours of July 11 last year.

He is also accused of attempting to wound another soldier, former Craftsman Nicholas Wood, whose room he went into by mistake and swung the machete on to the bed he was lying in, "shredding" the duvet.

The trial at Winchester Crown Court has heard that earlier that evening, Norwood had been involved in an altercation in The George pub in Aldershot which ended with L/Sgt Warnock punching the defendant to the ground.

Giving evidence to the court, Norwood said the confrontation began because friendly banter about company rivalry had gone too far.

L/Sgt Warnock told the jury that there had not been any such comments and he had felt threatened by the defendant.

Norwood said: "At first it was playful banter, just a couple of things being thrown backwards and forwards about company rivalry but it started to get a bit ugly.

"I started to get a bit angry because I am a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) and the way these junior NCOs were speaking was no longer playful, it was out of order."

Describing his response to being punched, he said: "It was a massive disrespect."

He added: "I knew I would be the butt of a lot of jokes because I had been beaten by a junior NCO.

"It's unheard of in my line of work for a senior NCO to be beaten up by a junior NCO, I wanted to minimise the jokes by scaring Mr Warnock."

Norwood said he had "little recollection" of the incident in Mr Wood's room but did not deny it and said he had wanted to scare him into revealing where L/Sgt Warnock's room was.

He continued: "I was very foolish and reckless, I was looking for Mr Warnock's room because I was wanting to go and scare him and put the fear of God into him for what he had done to me earlier in the night."

The defendant denied raising the machete - which he described as an "intimidation tool" - and swinging it at L/Sgt Warnock and said the injuries happened as the junior NCO ran at him and grappled at the machete with him.

He said: "When he opened the door, he came straight out in the corridor, straight at me, I had no time to show him I had a knife or anything, I was taken aback because it was the last thing I expected, he came straight out of the room and started throwing punches."

He added: "I never once raised the machete above my head and never brought it down in a chopping motion. I never intended to kill, I didn't intend to harm him."

Norwood, of Priesthill Road, Pollok, Glasgow, denies the attempted murder of L/Sgt Warnock and an alternative charge of wounding with intent as well as the attempted wounding with intent of Mr Wood.