Portsmouth stabbing attack trial collapses

Police at the scene of the stabbing in Lake Road, Southsea
Police at the scene of the stabbing in Lake Road, Southsea

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A TRIAL collapsed after a stabbing victim failed to turn up at court.

Marcus Asemota, 21, was due to stand trial accused of two separate drug-related knife attacks in Portsmouth.

But one victim, Anthony Hamilton, did not turn up at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Despite police searching for him, the court heard he had not been seen by family.

Asemota was charged with wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon, after Mr Hamilton, 38, was stabbed in the groin in St Mary’s Road, Fratton, on January 7.

Asemota, of Whytecliffe Road South, London, was also charged with the same offences in relation to an incident on October 14 last year.

He was arrested after Freddie Cartwright, 38, suffered a stab wound to the neck. Mr Cartwight was found in Lake Road after being attacked in Woodland Street in Fratton.

It was one of a string of violent incidents that saw the city’s top police officer Supt Will Schofield reassuring the public action was being taken.

Chief inspector Jim Pegler said police are committed to taking knives off the streets.

In a statement he said: ‘Police officers in Portsmouth spent a lot of time investigating these serious incidents, their hard work resulted in a suspect being charged.’

Safeguarding was given to the ‘key witness’, he added.

‘We believe these violent incidents were directly linked to drug supply. Furthermore we believe that the victims knew their attacker, as such I would reassure people that there was no threat to the wider community,’ he said.

Not guilty verdicts were recorded by judge Roger Hetherington after prosecutor Kerry Maylin offered no evidence yesterday.

Asemota, who spent around five months on remand in prison, is due to be released.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said there was ‘no longer a realistic prospect of conviction’.