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Machete-wielding Michael Mankelow tried to murder PC Matthew Bilney in Walmer, court told

By Sian Napier
A police officer by a car damaged in the attack
A police officer by a car damaged in the attack

A police officer called to a house in Walmer was attacked by a machete-wielding man who tried to murder him, a court heard.

When PC Matthew Bilney jumped in the back of his car and locked the doors to try to escape, Michael Mankelow started smashing the back and front windscreens with the large knife, it was claimed.

PC Bilney clambered into the driver's seat and frantically tried to start the engine while Mankelow continued his assault - covering the officer with fragments of glass, jurors were told.

"He went outside his house, armed and dangerous, and embarked on this horrifying action..." - prosecutor Peter Alcock

He repeatedly smashed the machete at the windscreen just inches from PC Bilney's face until he managed to drive away, according prosecutor Peter Alcock at Canterbury Crown Court.

Mankelow, 58, who was living in Downs Road at the time of the incident, has denied attempting to murder PC Bilney.

He has also denied GBH, affray, damaging property and possessing a blade in public.

Mr Alcock said PC Bilney and PC Gemma Keeley went to Mankelow's house at 10am on February 4 to interview him following an allegation. They were not in uniform but showed their identity cards.

It was alleged Mankelow refused to let them in and told them to get off his property.

While PC Keeley went round the back, PC Bilney stayed at the front. Then Mankelow came out of the house holding a machete, Mr Alcock said.

He said PC Bilney went to his car and, fearing for his life, pepper-sprayed Mankelow in the face.

Police cordoned off Downs Road, Walmer, during the incident
Police cordoned off Downs Road, Walmer, during the incident

PC Bilney locked himself in his police car and Mankelow started smashing the back windscreen, the jury heard.

"The officer was terrified what Mankelow would do if he got in the car," Mr Alcock said. "He clambered into the driver's seat and tried to start the engine.

"Mankelow started smashing the front windscreen which was pushing in and out with each strike of the knife.

"PC Bilney was in fear of his life and said Mankelow was acting like a man possessed.

"The officer was covered in many glass fragments, some of which were in his mouth."

Mr Alcock said after his arrest, Mankelow prepared a statement for police in which he said he was partially deaf and did not know the two people who turned up at his house were police officers as they did not identify themselves and he did not hear them say anything.

He said he was sprayed in the face after going outside his house and did not have a weapon with him. "I am not a danger or threat to anyone," Mankelow said.

Mr Alcock said: "Mankelow was aware that these two were police officers and he went outside his house, armed and dangerous, and embarked on this horrifying action.

"None of his actions could be described as defensive. We say Mankelow intended to kill PC Bilney."

The trial continues.

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