Knifemen in ‘slash and slice’ threats

Joshua Walmsley
Joshua Walmsley

A teenage sleepover ended in violence when a family member suspected the youngsters were taking drugs.

Men carrying knives and weapons surrounded the house in Blackpool as the terrified hosts frantically called for help.

Group thuggery like this can not be tolerated

During the melee a woman was punched and cut, a man was hit with a baseball bat and men with flick knives invaded the garden threatening to “slash and slice” the terrified householders, a court was told.

Matthew Aspin, 21, was jailed for 21 months for affray after Preston Crown Court heard he was the ringleader of the disorder.

Joshua Walmsley, also 21, was handed a suspended sentence after the court heard he came upon the disorder while driving and got involved.

Judge Ian Leeming, sentencing, said: “Group thuggery like this can not be tolerated.”

On July 27 last year, Aspin’s partner went to the house where her 13-year-old cousin was staying overnight.

Aspin told the householder they needed to find a bag of cannabis “or we will hurt everyone there”, the court heard.

At around 10pm the woman answered a knock at her front door to see Aspin, who punched her square in the face and knocked her to the ground, the court heard.

As she tried to push the front door closed, a knife appeared through the gap and cut her arm.

Two men with flick knives appeared at the back door and a large number of men were around the house and in the garden, shouting: “We’re going to cut you up, we’re going to slash you and slice you.”

The woman called her partner to come home but when he returned with her son, the young man was struck to the side of the head with a baseball bat as he tried to make his way into his own home.

Aspin, of Ashburton Road, Blackpool, and Walmsley, of Manor Road, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to affray, although the court accepted Walmsley did not have a weapon and had stopped his car when he had seen the disorder.

Aspin also admitted possession of a metal retractable baton which he used to smash the windscreen and wing-mirror of the victims’ car during the melee.

Judge Leeming said: “This was disgraceful and frightening incident.”

Dad-of-two Aspin cried out in the dock and pleaded with the judge as he was sent to prison.

Walmsley was handed a 10 month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out a 15-day rehabilitation activity.