Violent burglar jailed for plunging screwdriver through man's arm
VIOLENT burglar Michael Watson viciously stabbed a good Samaritan with a screwdriver during a frightening confrontation – plunging it into his arm so hard that it came out the other side.
The brave victim tackled Watson after hearing suspicious banging noises from his neighbour's garage and courageously stood up to his attacker despite menacing threats that he would be stabbed, a court heard.
Watson, 39, of Coombe Street, Cleethorpes, was jailed for six years after admitting wounding Doctor Paul Woods with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and burglary with intent to steal on June 1.
Mark Kendall, prosecuting, told Grimsby Crown Court that Dr Woods, 57, was in bed at his Cleethorpes home at about 6am when he heard his neighbour's garage door banging. He got dressed, went to investigate and spotted Watson coming out of the garage.
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Dr Woods, a chiropractor, asked Watson who he was and the intruder tried to walk past him but Dr Woods put the palms of his hands on Watson's chest and told him he was not going anywhere.
Watson was holding a screwdriver and warned Dr Woods: "Move out of the way or I'll stab you."
Dr Woods clenched his fists to defend himself as Watson moved towards him.
Watson stabbed him with the screwdriver and it plunged right through his forearm and came out the other side.
Dr Woods pulled his arm backwards, with the tool still in it. The blade came out but Watson kept holding onto it.
Dr Woods punched Watson in the face, wrestled him to the ground and was on top of him. Watson was still holding the screwdriver and stabbed Mr Woods five times in the leg.
On the sixth stab, Dr Woods managed to grab Watson's arm and forced him to loosen his grip on the screwdriver. He threw it out of reach. Dr Woods punched Watson three times to prevent any further assault. His neighbour appeared on the scene but Watson tried to spit at them and warned them he knew where they lived and would "terrorise" them.
Watson had snapped the garage padlock off and forced the drive gates of the property in Grimsby Road but, despite moving items in the garage, he did not steal anything.
Dr Woods was in hospital for two days and had to miss a planned holiday a few days later. He had been shocked by the "ferocity" of the attack and believed it was pure luck that nerves and blood vessels were not damaged.
The scars on his forearm were clearly visible.
"He realised he had been literally fighting for his life," said Mr Kendall.
The court heard Watson had convictions for 139 offences and had a history of violence.
Judge David Tremberg told Watson that it was a "minor miracle" and "no thanks to you" that Dr Woods did not suffer more serious injuries.
"It's critically important that courts send out a message that violent thieves and burglars will get locked up for a very long time indeed," he said.
Richard Hackfath, mitigating, said Watson did not realise the seriousness of the injuries he caused and it was not a premeditated incident where he took a weapon to use if he were confronted.
He picked up a screwdriver at the scene.
Watson, in custody for 112 days, had drug and alcohol addictions, said Mr Hackfath.
Judge Tremberg asked that Dr Woods be commended by the High Sheriff for his bravery and public spirited-behaviour.