'I feared for my life' - Alnwick man tells trial of alleged horror knife attack at his home

A kitchen worker thought he was going to be stabbed to death when two men arrived at his home in the middle of the night armed with knives, a court has heard.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 13:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 11:14 am
The brothers are standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court

Gareth Mallaburn says he was at his home in Howling Lane in Alnwick last December when brothers Brett and Blaine Fenwick barged in wielding six-inch blades.

The brothers, both of Lower Barresdale, deny inflicting grievous bodily with intent on Mr Mallaburn.

The case – which a jury heard stems from a ‘love trap’ affair between Mr Mallaburn’s partner Louise Pearce and Brett Fenwick – is being heard at Newcastle Crown Court.

Brett Fenwick has admitted attempting to murder Ms Pearce during the incident on December 27, 2018.

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‘They both had knives in their hands’

Father-of-three Mr Mallaburn worked at Alnwick gardens alongside his partner Ms Pearce and the Fenwick brothers.

He told the jury that his partner Ms Pearce went out for drinks with friends on the evening of Boxing Day, 2018.

She got back to the house about 1.10am on the 27th and Mr Mallaburn locked the doors.

He said: "I went upstairs and I heard noise out the front of my house.

"I see Brett and Blaine approaching my front door. They both had knives in their right hands.”

He said the blades were about 6-7 inches long.

Mr Mallaburn said Brett shouted: "Get down here now. We will handle this like men."

The Fenwick brothers then 'barged through the front door', Mr Mallaburn told the jury.

He continued: "I could see Louise cowered to the side of the door frame.

"I feared for my life. I thought I need to do something.

"They have both tried swinging their knives."

‘He stabbed me in the neck’

He said he used his bedroom door as a shield but the brothers continued trying to get in.

"I thought they are coming through so easily and there's two of them there with blades.”

He picked up a piece of wooden shelving and struck out at Brett's hand with the wood, causing him to drop the knife.

Brett then put it back in his pocket and Mr Mallaburn thought it had all calmed down and they all walk downstairs, the court heard.

At the bottom of the stairs by the front door, Gareth Mallaburn said he thought the brothers were about to leave.

"Brett reached for his knife. He stabbed me in the neck.

"I made my way out the back door. My intention was to lead them out the back of the house in the hope my partner would be safe.”

Questioned about his relationship with Louise Pearce

Barrister Lorraine Mustard asked Gareth Mallaburn: "Would you agree that your relationship with Louise was abusive?"

Mr Mallaburn said: "No not abusive. At times rocky.”

Ms Mustard read out a text message apparently sent from Louise Pearce to Gareth Mallaburn on Christmas Eve:

'I was scared for my safety. You said you were going to upper cut me and strangle me and leave me alone.'

Mr Mallaburn told the jury: "I have probably said it to upset her feelings."

Ms Mustard said: "She phoned the police because she was scared for her safety."

Mr Mallaburn replied: "I wouldn't do that I am not a violent person.”

Defence barrister: Brett Fenwick was unarmed when he arrived

She said: "I am going to suggest that Brett Fenwick did not have a knife when he approached the front door that night."

Mr Mallaburn replied: "Yes he did."

"When the door was opened by Louise, Brett has come through the front door first and you seeing him and knowing he's at your property, it is at that stage you pick the shelf up, isn't it?

"You then come down and start assaulting Brett with the shelf."

Mr Mallaburn said: "No."

She said that when they were all in the living room Mr Mallaburn whipped out a knife or screwdriver and slashed at Brett Fenwick with it, before dropping it.

She argued that only then did Brett Fenwick pick it up and jab at Mr Mallaburn with it, after which Mr Mallaburn ran off.

Mr Mallaburn said: "That is not true."

‘Blaine’s case is he never went upstairs at all’

Defence barrister Mark Styles then took over and asked Gareth Mallaburn about the night of the stabbing.

"It is [Blaine Fenwick's] case that he did not go armed to your home."

Mr Mallaburn said he saw the knife.

Mr Styles continued: "Blaine's case is he never went upstairs at all. That whatever was going on was between you and Brett."

Mr Mallaburn said: "Blaine did come upstairs with Brett. Both of them."

Louise Pearce’s ‘best friend’ tried to murder her

Answering questions from Brett Fenwick's defence barrister Lorraine Mustard, Louise Pearce described how Brett was her 'best friend' at the time.

Ms Mustard suggested that Mr Mallaburn came down the stairs on the night of the stabbing, holding a plank of wood.

Ms Pearce said: "I did not see him on the stairs."

Ms Mustard continued: "Things had calmed down until the point where Gareth pulls out what appears to be a knife [in the living room] and slashes out at Brett."

Ms Pearce said this was not what happened.

The case continues