Cider binge led to slashing of friend’s throat

Attack: Patrick Bentley was found slumped by this phone box on New Hall Lane
Attack: Patrick Bentley was found slumped by this phone box on New Hall Lane
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A man told a 999 operator he thought he had just “dealt with a dead body” after he slashed his friend’s throat in an unprovoked drunken attack.

Steven Davis, 34, denies attempted murder but has admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Patrick Bentley – his friend of five years.

Preston Crown Court heard Mr Bentley called to see his friend at his flat in Farringdon Crescent, Preston, at around teatime on August 10 last year.

He arrived with two bottles of cider and the pair sat side by side on the settee, drinking and chatting.

Mr Bentley told the court the pair had been friends for several years and would drink in Preston city centre together.

He said when he arrived at the flat Davis had been pleased to see him and welcomed him inside.

“We were laughing and joking and having a drink”, Mr Bentley told the court.

But shortly after 9pm Davis asked his friend to stand up so he could see how tall he was.

Mr Bentley said: “I was a bit puzzled why he asked the question. I said I was 5ft 7in.

“I stood up, I turned round, he put his arm around my neck and slit my throat.”

Mr Bentley tried to flee but as he fumbled with the lock on the front door, Davis stabbed him a further two times to the abdomen, breaking through his denim jacket, football shirt and T-shirt with a serrated kitchen knife, which was later found discarded by the sink.

The court heard Mr Bentley was found slumped in a telephone box at the junction of New Hall Lane and Farringdon Crescent.

He had a deep wound to his neck, which was treated with 17 staples, and two knife wounds to his abdomen.

The court heard a 999 call made by Davis shortly after the incident in which he claimed his friend had arrived at his flat, already seriously injured.

Under cross examination, Mr Bentley said he did not recall being asked to leave the flat after Davis became angry at his complaints he was not allowed to see his son as he was drinking.

Sharon Watson, defending, asked him: “Mr Davies told you to stop complaining and drop the subject. He said you kept harping on about it.

“You said you would not leave the flat as there was still booze there that you had brought. He told you to go and you laughed at him.”

But Mr Bentley said he did not remember being asked to leave or laughing at his friend.