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Man slit friend's throat outside Iceland in Chatham


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A man slashed his friend's throat in a town centre before telling his victim: "I had to do it."

Tony Mezzone, 40, attacked Marcus Saint as he sat on a bench outside Iceland in Chatham.

Tony Mezzone, of no fixed address, has been jailed after slashed a member of the public's neck with a knife and threw urine at police and paramedics in Chatham. Picture: Kent Police
Tony Mezzone, of no fixed address, has been jailed after slashed a member of the public's neck with a knife and threw urine at police and paramedics in Chatham. Picture: Kent Police

Fortunately the gash was not life-threatening - although Mr Saint feared he was going to die and has been left with a disfiguring wound, Maidstone Crown Court has heard.

Mezzone, of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to wounding his unsuspecting victim intending to cause grievous bodily harm and having a knife in public.

A charge of attempted murder - which he denied - was dropped by the CPS.

Prosecutor Shannon Revel told how Mr Saint was with friends in the High Street at about 3pm on Saturday, May 30 last year .

Mezzone came up to him and asked the group if they knew where he could 'score' drugs.

He appeared "stand-offish and agitated" and when Mr Saint asked if he was okay, Mezzone simply replied "yeah, fine" before stepping behind Mr Saint.

"Three to five seconds later he felt what he described as a cold, slicing motion across the front of his neck.

"He immediately put his hand to his throat and felt blood gushing out of his neck.

"He shouted at security guards nearby to call an ambulance and two towels were used to put pressure on the wound to try to stop the bleeding.

"Mr Saint heard the defendant saying words to the effect of 'I had to do it' and he remained in the area pacing up and down. A witness said he didn't seem concerned for the victim's safety or condition."

The prosecutor added:"He threw the knife on top of a greengrocer's shop and then hung around, according to a witness, as if nothing had happened.

Police stand guard around a cordon in Chatham High Street Picture: Nicola Cochran
Police stand guard around a cordon in Chatham High Street Picture: Nicola Cochran

"Mr Saint felt the blood pouring onto his chest and feared he was going to die, and had accepted that fate. He said it was totally unprovoked and thought he and the defendant were friends."

The court heard that when police arrived, Mezzone told officers "I cut him" and falsely claimed he had been branded "a paedo".

In a victim impact statement Mr Saint told police he had since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and cannot look at the scar in a mirror without suffering flashbacks.

"I also feel this assault has destroyed my faith in humanity. I'm always on edge and don't know if anyone is going to attack me again," he wrote.

"I know it's unlikely but the voices in my head still make me paranoid. I'm also worried that when released, the defendant may attack me or someone else."

The court heard Mezzone was suffering a "drug-induced psychotic episode" at the time and has now been diagnosed with personality and schizoaffective disorders.

Judge Julian Smith told him an extended sentence of imprisonment was needed to protect the public from the danger that he posed.

He will therefore have to serve two thirds of the eight-year jail term before he can apply for parole, with a further five years added to any licence period once released.

"In an act of absolutely astonishing horror - there's no other way of describing what you did - you drew a knife across Mr Saint's throat," said Judge Smith.

"The wound was shocking and terrifying but a wound to the skin alone. That was good fortune, nothing more than that."

Chief Inspector Shona Lowndes, Kent Police’s District Commander for Medway, said: "Mezzone has shown he is a clear danger to the public and I welcome the sentence that has been imposed.

"There can be no tolerance for anyone who seeks to use a weapon on our streets and our officers reacted quickly to bring him into custody, where he has been held on remand since.

"The assault he committed against our colleagues working for British Transport Police and the South East Coast Ambulance Service was also abhorrent and disgusting.

"These emergency workers were doing everything in their power to keep him safe and it is completely unacceptable for him to have subjected them to such abuse. I am pleased to see a custodial sentence has been imposed."

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Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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