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Peter McKay, from Sheerness, jailed for attacking friend Leslie Bidgood with meat cleaver while preparing spaghetti bolognese

A former salesman has been jailed for 12 years for a vicious “inexplicable” attack on a friend with a meat cleaver as he prepared spaghetti bolognese for dinner.

A judge rejected an application for a psychiatric report on Peter McKay and imposed an extended sentence for public protection after making a finding he was a danger to the public.

The 35-year-old will have to serve eight years before he can be considered for release. He will be on licence for a further two years at the end of the 12-year sentence.

Peter McKay has been jailed
Peter McKay has been jailed

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard in March how McKay growled as he ran amok and attacked Leslie Bidgood while chopping up ingredients for the Italian meal at his home in Minster Road, Sheerness, on September 18 last year.

The two men were flatmates and had spent the day together, downing about two half bottles of vodka each with Red Bull. McKay was also taking a sedative called zopiclone.

Mr Bidgood, was sitting down on a sofa watching television when McKay emerged from the kitchen holding the cleaver.

A meat cleaver. Stock picture
A meat cleaver. Stock picture

As he stood up McKay started striking him around the neck and head, leaving him covered in blood.

The shocked victim protested: “We are mates. We are both on the same side.” But the onslaught continued as McKay kept growling.

Mr Bidgood could remember nothing else until he woke up in hospital with wounds to his neck, behind his left ear and above his left eye, needing stitches.

"You are very fortunate he survived this attack. You used the meat cleaver several times to the head and shoulders of this man..." - Judge Martin Joy

Prosecutor Mark Mullins said one of the cuts could have proved fatal if it had been closer to the jugular vein.

McKay claimed his intoxication from excessive drinking and taking sedatives led to a state of “automatism”.

But it was rejected by the jury and he was convicted of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He had admitted unlawful wounding.

Judge Martin Joy said McKay was fortunate not to be charged with attempted murder.

He told him: “This was inexplicable. Only you know why you did this. The prosecution put it to you that you knew what you were doing.

“You have exaggerated the effects of drink and anything you took in addition. Nobody can assess the seriousness of what you did without seeing the photographs of Mr Bidgood.

“It was a matter of more than chance that you did not kill him.”

The cleaver was used to cut under the chin in the most vulnerable area.

“You are very fortunate he survived this attack. You used the meat cleaver several times to the head and shoulders of this man,” added the judge.

Nobody is being allowed into the crown court. Picture: Martin Apps
Nobody is being allowed into the crown court. Picture: Martin Apps

“There was an intent to commit more serious harm than, in fact, resulted. I am satisfied you present a significant risk to the public by committing similar violent offences.”

Detective Constable Mark Silk of Kent Police said: "Alcohol clearly played a substantial part in this incident, but it can in no way be used as a defence for the entirely unprovoked attack that followed.

"We put a comprehensive case forward and it was pleasing to see the jury fully understood the seriousness of the offence. It also reinforces the message that being under the influence of alcohol and drugs is absolutely no excuse for criminality.

"It was only by luck the attack did not prove fatal and hopefully McKay will use this time to ponder over his actions."

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