Judge praises Norwich stabbing victim who attended court despite serious threats
PUBLISHED: 08:01 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 02 May 2019
A judge praised the courage of the victim of a vicious Norwich stabbing who came to court despite being "extremely fearful" over threats.
The 40-year-old victim was stabbed three times on the doorstep of his Godric Place flat by Ashley Anderson.
The attacker tried to force his way into the property before the victim - who we have chosen not to identify - managed to end the assault by closing the door, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Anderson, 26, from London, was arrested the next day and was due to go on trial at Norwich Crown Court for attempted murder on November 21, last year.
However, the victim failed to turn up on the first day of trial after threats which included an attempt by two men to drag him into a van and he then was approached in a park by a man who told him not to give evidence.
Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, explained the delay to the jury and said the threats were nothing to do with Anderson, but said when officers went to the flat they found a note from the victim's mother explaining they were ”too stressed” to come to court.
Mr Jackson said following exhaustive police searches, the victim, along with his brother and mother were found and said they had been subjected to intimidation to prevent them giving evidence in the trial, which had a “drugs background”.
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“They remain extremely fearful. It must be stressed there is no evidence that this defendant personally was behind that intimidation.”
He said the victim was kept in a safe place and had come to court on Wednesday to give evidence but before the trial got underway Anderson offered a plea to an alternative charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.
Mr Jackson explained there was a drugs background to the case which had the hallmarks of an enforcement of a drugs debt: “We all know now what that entails with the use of knives.”
The court heard that Anderson had a number of serious previous convictions including another GBH with intent in 2010, possession of an imitation firearm and he had also been sentenced to eight years for robbery and burglary in April 2012.
Judge Stephen Holt adjourned sentencing until June 7 and asked for reports to assess what danger Anderson posed.
After the hearing, Judge Holt asked for the victim and his family to come to court where he personally thanked them for coming to court despite suffering intimidation over the past months.
He told them: “It has shown a lot of courage.”