Man found not guilty after meat cleaver incident at Portsmouth takeaway

Copnor Takeaway in Copnor Road after the incident
Copnor Takeaway in Copnor Road after the incident
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A MAN accused of ‘severing’ a teenage boy’s fingers with a meat cleaver has been found not guilty.

Kevin Penman, 26, of Copnor Road, Portsmouth, was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent, unlawful wounding and damaging criminal property.

The jury previously heard Penman was arrested in May of this year after an altercation took place in Copnor Takeaway.

Prosecutor Simon Foster told jurors it was ‘a violent incident’ that resulted in the boy’s two fingers being ‘severed’.

The 17-year-old was taken to hospital after the incident on May 19 and had to have a six-hour operation to reconstruct his hand.

A witness, who was in the takeaway shop at the time, said: ‘I saw a person run in through the shop into the kitchen area.

‘He picked up a carving knife off a red chopping board.’

He added: ‘Then a crowd of boys came running in.

‘Then (Penman) came running out of the kitchen area with the cleaver in his hand and he went to strike them.

Then there was blood running down the chap’s hand.’

During summing up, Jeffrey Lamb, defending, said: ‘When the defendant is first seen on CCTV walking down Copnor Road, he is simply strolling through the street with his four friends.

‘‘He says he was chased into the takeaway by some of the youths and witnesses said they were quite clearly trying to attack him. ‘The version of evidence given to you by the defendant is the only version that makes complete sense from start to finish.

‘He had no intention of hurting the victim. He was acting in self-defence.’

But Penman was found guilty of affray and possessing a bladed article.

Mr Lamb said: ‘In terms of the other offences, he was running away from a mob of youths and he said he only held the blade for his own protection.’

During defence questioning, PC Georgina Laycock, who arrested Penman in May, said: ‘I noticed an injury to his left little finger and an injury to the bridge of his nose.

‘He had visible blood.’

After the jury announced their verdict, Penman’s previous convictions were read out, including possessing a bladed article, shoplifting, common assault and possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Penman will be sentenced for affray and possessing a bladed article on November 10.