A FALMOUTH man has been cleared of attempted murder after spending six months in prison following a bizarre stabbing involving hedge cutters.
Gareth Healey was accused of attempting to kill a 47-year-old man from Rustington in West Sussex with a kitchen knife in September last year.
The victim spent more than a week in intensive care after Mr Healey stabbed him. But now the 25-year-old has been cleared of attempted murder.
After the case Mr Healey said he admitted to jurors at Brighton Crown Court that he stabbed the man, but claimed he acted in self-defence after he was threatened with hedge cutters.
Mr Healey was also taken to hospital for treatment following the incident. His injuries were less severe than the victim’s.
Mr Healey said: “We were having a drink together and got into an argument. It moved upstairs and kicked off again.
“He turned towards me with hedge-cutters and I reacted and picked up a kitchen knife.”
Mr Healey, who was remanded in custody after the incident before his trial came before court and spent his 25th birthday in the dock, said: “I am sorry for what happened. I have been in prison for six months.
“The jury is not allowed to go on feelings – they have to go on facts – so I was very relieved they believed me.
“I have never been involved in anything like this before and I thought it would be so easy for the court to find me guilty.”
He added: “I was so happy to get my freedom back. I was buzzing.”
Following his ordeal, Mr Healey said he wanted to move on with his life.
“I’ve had a lot of bad press, my name has been in the limelight for a long time now.
“It was quite a story, it’s been in the paper (The Argus, Brighton) quite a lot.
“It’s something I don’t want to keep remembering. I don’t really want to think about it anymore.”