5:28pm Wednesday 11th September 2013
A BAILIFF needed major surgery when he was stabbed in the stomach by a man after calling at his Cradley Heath home with a repossession order, a court heard.
John Savage was asleep when bailiff Peter Cartwright tapped him on the leg after getting no response to a knock on his front door and he lashed out with the knife.
Mr Cartwright was "lucky to be alive" after sustaining a serious wound to his stomach. He needed 11 units of blood during four hours in the operating theatre and spent a week in hospital.
Jailing Savage for four years aft Wolverhmpton Crown Cout, judge Amjad Nawaz said it was down to good fortune that he had not been facing a much more serious charge as he told him his actions had been "extremely reckless".
He said Mr Cartwright had simply been doing his job and because Savage had not responded to letters sent to him by the county court he had called at his Victoria Gardens home.
"You knew you were in financial difficulties and it is a fact of life that bailiffs sometimes turn up," said the judge."When he entered with a colleague you were under the bedcovers.
"You were in the habit of going to bed with a weapon for over a decade because you thought it was the best way to protect yourself. But you created a danger to others and, because you were also wearing earplugs, you had cut yourself off from the world."
Savage, aged 47, admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and it was his wish to apologise to his victim publicly, said Sharonjit Bahia, defending.
She said Savage slept with a knife under his pillow after being burgled some years before adding, "He believed it was the only way he would be safe in his own home."
Miss Bahia maintained he had not known the bailiffs were coming to the property although Savage knew he was in arreas with his rent.
"He over-reacted to the situation he was presented with when he found another man in his home," she said.
Now he felt deep remorse for what he had done to Mr Cartwright for something she said was out of character, adding:
"The burglary put him in such fear of something happening in his home that he felt he needed to arm himself for protection."
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