A VILLAGE tyrant, who disembowelled a neighbour with a carving knife after being confronted over his anti-social behaviour, was jailed for life. Brian Ferguson, 44, plunged the blade into John Taylor's stomach after the 25-year-old knocked at his door during a long-running dispute. Luckily, fellow residents managed to wrestle Ferguson off the defenceless window cleaner before he could use the meat cleaver in his other hand. The attack came during a feud between Ferguson and village residents, after he beat up a frail pensioner on a bus in the Surrey village of Witley. Regulars at the Witley working men's club were furious when Colin Palmer, 75, known as "Specks", staggered in with his face covered in blood. Mr Taylor had banged on Ferguson's door in Roke Lane at 9-30pm on July 21 last year to remonstrate with him about the unprovoked attack. He told Snaresbrook Crown Court: "The door was opened and I got stabbed straight away. "No one said anything. I did not realise I was stabbed at first. I just felt the blood running down my legs then I fell backwards. "He sat astride me then pulled out an another knife from his waist and tried to use that as well. "He had both knives above me and I had hold of his wrists. When I came round I was in intensive care." Witnesses saw Mr Taylor's bowels emerging from his stomach and he spent several weeks in hospital with the life-threatening injury. He has been unable to return to work since the attack but received £700 from villagers who had a "whip round" for him at the club. Mr Taylor only survived the attack because of the bravery of two of his friends, who were injured themselves as they dragged Ferguson off him. "Andrew Black's thumb was cut open in the struggle as he wrestled the knife out of Ferguson's grip," said Nicholas Wood, prosecuting. "Ian Gatford also received cuts to his hands after Ferguson pulled out a third concealed knife." Mr Gatford, president of the working men's club, said Mr Taylor told him "I don't want to die" as he attempted to stem the blood with a towel. An angry mob forced Ferguson to retreat to his home before smashing his windows and kicking in his front door before police arrived. When interviewed by police drunken Ferguson admitted to detectives that he planned to "chop off" Mr Taylor's head with the cleaver. Ferguson, a roofer with convictions for violence, claimed he was merely "warning" Mr Taylor after being punched earlier in the evening. The roofer said the injury must have occurred accidentally while he was sat astride the victim, struggling with Mr Black and Mr Gatford. But a jury convicted him of attempted murder and two counts of unlawful wounding. Ferguson had also admitted battery to bus driver Roger Routledge and assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Colin Palmer. Passing sentence Judge Alan Greenwood told Ferguson: "You distracted the peace of this close knit community by striking a frail old man, Colin Palmer. "All those close to him were clearly outraged by your conduct, in particular John Taylor who felt driven to punch you. "Consequently you stabbed him with a large knife and while he was injured on the ground, with you on top of him, you tried to stab him again with that knife and another knife which was in your other hand. "If Mr Taylor had not been rescued by Ian Catford and Andrew Black I have no doubt you would have killed him. "He was already seriously injured when you caused him another injury to his right nipple as you tried to stab him again. "Your culpability is increased further as you held on to the knives for grim death and each of these two men were injured in the struggle." Judge Greenwood said Mr Taylor spent long periods in hospital, has lost his confidence and "has never been the same since". Jailing Ferguson for life and ordering he serve at least six and a half years behind bars before he can be considered for parole, the judge added: "You have a bad record for offences of violence and you have shown yourself as a violent and callous man, lacking in any compassion to those you have hurt so badly." Ferguson will be on licence for the rest of his life. After Ferguson was locked up, Mr Taylor said: "I am glad he got what he got, I am well chuffed. "I think everyone in the village will be pleased as they wanted him thrown out." It emerged earlier that Ferguson was once jailed for GBH for hitting a former friend, Frank Goff, over the head with a hammer during a game of chess. Earlier this year Glaswegian Goff, 55, was locked up for life for murdering a love rival and then raping a woman in the house where the killing took place in Woking, Surrey.
Violent and callous attacker given life for stabbing
Thursday 14th April 2005 10:00 pm