Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Sergeant used machete in 'dented pride' soldier row

John Norwood Image copyright Press Association
Image caption John Norwood (pictured) denies wounding with intent after James Warnock was severely injured

An Army colour sergeant used a machete "to put the fear of God" into a fellow soldier in a bid to restore his "dented pride", he has told his trial.

John Norwood of 1st Battalion Scots Guards denies wounding with intent L/Sgt James Warnock at barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire, in July 2015.

The 24-year-old suffered a severe wound to his shoulder, Portsmouth Crown Court was told.

Sgt Norwood said he took a machete from the stores "to scare" L/Sgt Warnock.

The 38-year-old of Priesthill Road, Pollok, Glasgow, also denies attempting to wound with intent Craftsman Nicholas Wood.

He is alleged to have swung the machete at his bed, cutting the duvet but not hurting him, as he searched for L/Sgt Warnock.

'Reckless decision'

David Richards, prosecuting, told the trial Sgt Norwood had slapped L/Sgt Warnock around the face while they were in The George pub.

After banging his fists on the bar and pointing at L/Sgt Warnock, the defendant confronted him again which ended with L/Sgt Warnock punching him twice, knocking him to the ground, he added.

Both were removed from the pub and Sgt Norwood returned to the barracks by taxi, the court heard.

Norwood told the court he took the machete from the stores at Mons Barracks and went to find L/Sgt Warnock "to put the fear of God into him".

He said: "I didn't want to harm anyone with that machete. I made a reckless decision, a foolish decision, my pride was dented, my ego was dented.

"I knew I would be the butt of many jokes, many slanders, I know how the Army works and I foolishly went to his room to scare him, to salvage some dignity, that he would say, 'No, I shouldn't have done that, colour sergeant', that's the only reason I did it."

He said the argument in the pub had started because of comments about "inter-brigade rivalry and insubordination" but he had become angry when L/Sgt Warnock "had taken things too far".

The trial continues.

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