Frenzied machete attack in town pub

A FURIOUS alcoholic plunged a machete through the head of his former partner’s last boyfriend in a frenzied attack in a Weston pub.

Thomas Walsh, pictured, has been jailed for seven years for the brutal attack on Martin Bidwell, which left the 48-year-old with a fractured and dented skull.

Bristol Crown Court heard how there had been a history of animosity between the pair over a ‘significant period of time’.

Mr Bidwell’s late partner had previously been in a relationship with the defendant and the bad feeling between them grew after she died last March.

So, in the Charles Dickens pub on October 19 last year Walsh, of Alma Street, attacked his victim by inflicting multiple strikes to the head with a machete.

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At a sentencing hearing on March 10, Robert Duval, prosecuting, told how Mr Bidwell had moved away six months earlier, but by chance on the day of the assault both men were in the same pub.

He said the defendant had a drink and there was no sign of animosity between them at the time.

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Walsh left the pub and went to a shop that sells camping equipment, selected a machete, examined it and asked twice if it was capable of cutting through undergrowth. Once he left the Meadow Street shop, the 57-year-old went for a drink elsewhere before returning to the Charles Dickens in Orchard Place.

Mr Duval continued: “Mr Bidwell had his back to the front door and was unaware of the defendant approaching. Walsh raised the machete to head height and brought it down on his head.

“The blow was described as being delivered with ‘considerable force’ and the sound heard was probably the victim’s skull cracking.

“There were three or four blows and the victim put his hands up to try and protect himself.”

The court heard how other people in the pub at the time managed to disarm Mr Walsh, but the victim was left with a fractured skull and hand and a floating piece of bone in his head.

His Honour Judge Roach told the defendant, who had previously pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of an offensive weapon, that the violent attack was ‘premeditated’ but he accepted it was not ‘pre-planned’ in that he had not thought about attacking Mr Bidwell for a long period of time before the bloody assault.

He added that there was some provocation and that a psychology report suggested he is not normally a violent man or a danger to the public.

Ramin Pakrooh, defending, said that Mr Bidwell had stolen clothes from Walsh that he needed for his former partner’s funeral six months before the incident and that a psychology report showed that the defendant was not mentally prepared to see Mr Bidwell on the day of the attack.

As well as the seven-year sentence for grievous bodily harm, Walsh was also handed a nine-month sentence for possession of an offensive weapon, to run concurrently.

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