Man jailed for Swindon meat cleaver fight
7:00pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Latest News
A MAN armed himself with a meat cleaver when he fought with a friend he thought was tampering with his girlfriend’s cancer drugs.
Michael McDonagh picked up the large knife, similar to a butcher’s axe, as a fight with victim Chris White spilled on to the street last December.
The 35-year-old pulled out the huge knife to threaten Mr White, who was left with serious cuts to his left hand, including a severed tendon requiring surgery.
McDonagh was this week jailed for two years for the incident.
Swindon Crown Court heard that his partner was terminally ill with spinal cancer.
Rob Welling, prosecuting, said the victim had been at McDonagh and his partner’s Penhill home on the evening of Friday, December 7.
“He [McDonagh] had an argument with Chris White and he went to throw him out of the property because he thought he was tampering with his partner Melanie’s medication safe,” he said.
The men exchanged punches and McDonagh said he “grabbed without thinking” the large knife on the table because he knew Mr White had a weapon.
He pulled out the cleaver on Penhill Drive, near Oaksey Road. Armed police and officers with tasers rushed to McDonagh’s house after reports of the violence, and he was arrested. McDonagh, who has given an address at the Salvation Army hostel Booth House, in Spring Gardens, admitted unlawful wounding and having a bladed article.
The court heard he had 59 previous convictions including robbery, assault and disorderly behaviour.
Matthew Rowcliffe, defending, said his client was made redundant last year, and his use of illegal substances and drinking worsened with the news of his girlfriend’s terminal cancer.
Jailing him for two years Recorder Michael Vere-Hodge QC said: “You are 35 and you have got a very bad record.
“You probably have realised that at your age either you're going to keep on offending and you will end up in prison, effectively dying in prison or you will stop offending by treating your alcohol and substance abuse. The choice is yours.”