Slashing thug given 10 years

Gavin Hargreaves
Gavin Hargreaves

A thug who slashed a man across the throat in a horrific knife attack has been jailed for 10 years.

Housing manager Andy Gregson, 24, from Bamber Bridge, was left without any sensation in the left side of his face and neck after Gavin Hargreaves, 23, cut him with a blade he carried on a key ring.

The incident happened outside Yates’ in Church Street, Preston, at around 4.30am on Tuesday, December 20, last year.

Preston Crown Court heard that Mr Gregson was standing in a queue in the Market Street Chippy when he sought to console a young woman who was upset.

Judge Christopher Cornwall said the woman complained about an “unwelcome advance” from two men, Michael Hargreaves, 22, and Leigh Moses, 29.

He said: “It seems to me that he did the decent thing. He spoke to her and tried to reassure and help her.” Mr Gregson suggested the woman speak to a police officer, but when he did, the pair “aggressively” confronted him.

After an angry exchange the judge said Mr Gregson “very sensibly” left the takeaway and went to try and catch a taxi home.

But 15 minutes later the pair and their co-defendant Gavin Hargreaves chanced upon him in the street. Judge Cornwall said the trio had agreed to “confront and attack” Mr Gregson.

He said: “He was plainly fearful, he was unarmed, he was outnumbered, and while it is true that he clenched his fists, in what I take to be a desperate attempt to persuade the three of you from harming him, he presented no risk to you.”

Before Michael Hargreaves or Moses could strike their victim, the judge said Gavin Hargreaves “unbeknownst” to them took out his knife, and used it to strike a “single, devastating blow to Mr Gregson’s neck”. He said the resulting injury was a “four-inch long gaping wound”, which cut through a major nerve, and left Mr Gregson fearing that he was going to die.

The knifeman fled the scene and Michael Hargreaves and Moses threatened to kill onlookers who were taking pictures of them.

Gavin Hargreaves, of Beech Terrace, Ashton, Preston, admitted wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon on the day he was to stand trial.

Michael Hargreaves, of Garstang Road, Fulwood, and Leigh Moses, of Skeffington Road, Deepdale, Preston, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Micheal Hargreaves was sentenced to 18 months in jail. He was released on licence after spending a year in custody.

Father-of-three Moses, who had been on bail, was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years, and the judge imposed a five-year restraining order.