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Court hears Karl Lashley's hand almost severed by Samurai sword in attack by Darren Selby in Herne Bay

By Paul Hooper

A roofer’s right hand was almost severed by a Samurai sword wielded by his mother’s boyfriend, a jury has been told.

Karl Lashley’s hand was left “hanging by a thread” following the alleged attack by Darren Selby in Herne Bay in June.

The 27-year-old from Canterbury is said to have shouted at Selby “look what you have done” before collapsing in agony.

Blood on the pavement following the alleged attack
Blood on the pavement following the alleged attack

Doctors at hospitals in Ashford and East Grinstead then battled for 17 hours to try to reconstruct the damaged hand.

Selby, 42, of no fixed address, is now on trial accused of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a sword in public.

Judge James O’Mahony warned the jury that they would see photographs of the “unpleasant and gruesome” injury suffered by Mr Lashley.

Prosecutor Vivian Walters told them that when Mr Lashley’s mother, Laura, arrived in the street she blamed her son for causing the incident and he then chased after her and struck her across the face.

Ms Walters claimed Mrs Lashley then hit her son with a rubber mallet, breaking one of his ribs, the jury at Canterbury Crown Court was told.

Darren Selby
Darren Selby

Mr Lashley told how he had gone to his mother’s home in Charles Street to see his brother, who lives in another of the flats.

“My mother has never been in a relationship which didn’t cause harm to me and my brothers and to her,” he said.

“I was concerned and I spoke to my mother. We haven’t been that close and she always told me that she was happy.

“I know not to judge a book by its cover but I had heard things about him.”

Mr Lashley claimed that there had been a couple of previous incidents involving Selby which had ended in violence.

In June, he and a friend, Emma, had gone to the flat at the junction with Bank Street, where Selby and his mother were.

"As he was coming up the path I saw he had a sword. It was in his two hands above his head. I thought ‘no way is he going to do that’ but he then brought it down in a chopping motion..." - Karl Lashley

“I just thought ‘enough is enough’ and I knocked on the door,” he said. “Darren said ‘who’s that?’”

Mr Lashley claims the door came “flying open” and Selby started to attack him.

“I was overpowered,” he said. “There was a rubber mallet in the communal hallway which I had left nearby. But I didn’t pick it up. My mother came out and got involved. There was shouting and screaming for a while.

“All of a sudden it went quiet. Then I saw there was someone to the left of me. I knew it was Darren. He wasn’t saying anything.

“As he was coming up the path I saw he had a sword. It was in his two hands above his head. I thought ‘no way is he going to do that’ but he then brought it down in a chopping motion.

“I was in total shock when I saw what he had done. I called him a ‘psycho’.

The aftermath of the alleged attack
The aftermath of the alleged attack

“My mother, who had been brainwashed by Darren, then came and said she blamed me and was going to disown me. I chased after her and smacked her. She picked up the rubber mallet and broke my ribs.”

Mr Lashley said he fell to the ground and his brother Kevin and his girlfriend then stepped in to prevent him being hit again with the mallet.

He said that since the incident he has lost much of the use of his hand and has had to give up roofing.

Selby left the scene and was arrested two weeks later and refused to answer police questions.

In a defence statement he said Mr Lashley was armed with a pick axe. He claims the Samurai sword came into contact with Mr Lashley when he swung the pick axe.

The trial continues.

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