A highly regarded Army corporal is standing trial accused of stabbing an innocent man who was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’.
Michael Reed – known as Mickey – spent five days in intensive care after being stabbed eight times in the street in New Rough Hey, Tanterton.
Summing up the case, Judge Stuart Baker said: “Mr Reed had clearly not had any contact with any of the assailants and had done nothing to provoke them into attacking him.”
The court heard Mr Reed and his partner Tara Power had gone outside to investigate after hearing there were a number of people outside Tara’s mother’s house in the same street.
But as they walked home, a group of men started running towards them.
As they tried to run away, Mr Reed slipped on the grass and was set upon by the group, punching and kicking him.
He managed to get up but again slipped and was attacked again.
He sustained eight stab wounds, including a deep cut to his abdomen which caused damage to the tissue surrounding his liver, as well as wounds to his chest, shoulder and thigh.
Ann-Marie Kellet watched the incident unfold from an upstairs window at her home in the street.
She saw Mr Reed being attacked and told the court she saw the men run off in the direction of three cars which sped off the estate.
Her friend Jessica Spencer also witnessed the attack from the same house, and said she saw the knifeman get into the driver’s seat of the BMW and speed off.
She gave the car’s registration number to the police and Wild admits it was his vehicle.
The car was examined, but no trace of Mr Reed’s blood has been found on either the vehicle or any item of clothing belonging to Wild.
Wild, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is accused of plunging the knife into Mr Reed.
He admits being on the estate and witnessing the aftermath of the stabbing, but denies any involvement.
The court heard there had been an earlier disturbance on the estate involving a group of women.
He claimed he and his girlfriend, Claire Stocks, went to Tanterton to collect another woman who had been involved in that disturbance.
As they arrived in New Rough Hey, they said they saw the masked men running around the area and witnessed Mr Reed being set upon.
Wild was asked why, if he was not involved in the attack, did he not report what he had seen to the police.
He said he did not want to jeopardise his upcoming tour of Afghanistan by putting himself forward as a witness.
Army colleagues described him as a promising soldier with bright prospects for promotion and said he was the least likely person to get involved in anything like this.
But in the aftermath of the attack, one man told the court he heard Mickey’s brother-in-law, Darren Power say: “You’ve stabbed Mickey to death. I’m going to cut your head off”, to another bystander – who was not the defendant.
However, Judge Baker warned the jury Mr Power had consumed two bottles of vodka and may easily have been repeating rumours.
Wild, of Leicester Road, Blackburn, denies causing grievous bodily harm.