Beer man accused of attacking girlfriend’s ex-partner with hammer

Steven McMahon had only been free for a few weeks when he lay in wait for victim Benjamin Watkins. P

Steven McMahon had only been free for a few weeks when he lay in wait for victim Benjamin Watkins. Picture: D&C Police. - Credit: D&C Police

An alleged hammer attacker was found with a note in his pocket setting out how he planned to lie in wait for his victim, a court heard.

Steven McMahon, from Beer, confronted Benjamin Watkins in the street in Axminster and left him with four hammer-shaped wounds to his face, Exeter Crown Court was told.

McMahon was the new boyfriend of Mr Watkins’s ex-partner. It is alleged McHanon followed him after Mr Watkins visited his ex-girlfriend’s house.

Mr Watkins was left covered in blood following an incident in Lyme Close. He told police he was attacked by a man brandishing a hammer in one hand and a serrated hunting knife in the other.

After McMahon’s arrest, police found a note in his trouser pocket which read ‘go out bk door, wait for him there, do whatever’.

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McMahon, aged 35, denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and the possession of a hammer and knife in a public place.

He claimed he was acting in self defence and the note found in his trousers was written by his partner Kelly Westlake and had nothing to do with the attack.

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Mr Nigel Wraith, prosecuting, said Mr Watkins had been to see his ex-girlfriend at her home in Foxhill, Axminster on July 29 and that they had had an argument. He left and then returned at about 9.30pm and found the windows and letter box blacked out with tape or black plastic. Miss Westlake let him in but that he felt there was an uncomfortable atmosphere and left on foot. Mr Wraith said when Mr Watkins reached Lyme Close, he realised McMahon was following him and turned back to talk to him.

Mr Wraith said: “He saw McMahon with both arms outstretched with a claw hammer in one hand and a hunting knife in the other, saying: ‘Do you want some?’” He said the alleged victim was concerned about McMahon returning to Foxhill with the weapons and approached him. As Mr Watkins met him, McMahon swung the hammer and struck him on the head. He grabbed hold of McMahon and put him to the floor. McMahon got up and the process was repeated a couple of times with McMahon swinging the hammer and connecting with his head, said Mr Wraith.

“Mr Watkins managed to grapple the hammer from him and threw it away and, fortunately for Mr Watkins, some members of the public arrived in the area.”

Mr Wraith said McMahon ran off and the victim was taken to hospital with three deep wounds to his forehead and one to his nose.

Police saw McMahon on a moped but he fled by riding down an alley. He was arrested the next day after going to a surgery in Chard with cuts to his head.

The note was found in his pocket of his jeans pocket. He told police he had been attacked by Mr Watkins with a hammer and had taken the weapon off him and used it in self-defence.

The trial continues.

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