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Lowestoft men guilty of 'savage' attack

PUBLISHED: 09:25 25 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:24 06 July 2010

TWO men have been warned they face lengthy prison sentences after being found guilty of a "savage and vicious" attack in which a man was slashed across his cheek and down his back with a modelling knife.

TWO men have been warned they face lengthy prison sentences after being found guilty of a “savage and vicious” attack in which a man was slashed across his cheek and down his back with a modelling knife.

Christopher Hardman had been at his flat in London Road South, Lowestoft, on December 27 when he answered a knock at the door and was confronted by four men, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He was set upon with a modelling knife and a cosh and was slashed across his cheek and back.

Before the court were John Swaby, 39, of Spexhall Way, Lowestoft, and Andrew Duffy, 29, of Durban Road, Lowestoft, who denied wounding Mr Hardman with intent to do him grievous bodily harm on December 27.

A jury took less than an hour to convict the two men and they will now be sentenced next month with Adrian Cairns, 36, of London Road South, Lowestoft, and Mark Cullen, 39, of Staplehurst Close, Lowestoft, who have admitted being involved in the attack.

Adjourning sentence on Swaby and Duffy for pre-sentence reports, Judge David Goodin described the attack as “savage and vicious” and said Mr Hardman had been left with permanent and disfiguring injuries.

He said it was inevitable that the men would receive custodial sentences of some length.

Giving evidence, Swaby said he had gone with Duffy to Mr Hardman's flat to return some keys and on the way they had bumped into Cairns and Cullen, who were also on their way to see Mr Hardman.

He said that when Mr Hardman opened his door Cairns and Cullen had attacked him with a modelling knife and a cosh and Mr Hardman had been covered in blood.

Swaby denied being involved in the attack and claimed that he had pulled Cairns and Cullen off Mr Hardman before leaving with Duffy.

Duffy told the court that Cairns and Cullen had said they wanted to “have a word” with Mr Hardman.

Duffy said he thought this might mean they were going to hit Mr Hardman. “I wasn't going to get involved in any violence,” he said.

He said he saw one of the two men “slice” Mr Hardman down the face and down the back with a knife.

Duffy denied that during the attack he said “cut him in the chest” and “kill him”.

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