TV star tells court of Norfolk stabbing

Kate ScotterA television presenter told a court yesterday he thought he was going to die after being stabbed while confronting a customer in a village store.Kate Scotter

A television presenter told a court he thought he was going to die after being stabbed while confronting a customer in a village store.

Jurors at Norwich Crown Court yesterday saw closed circuit television footage of the moments leading up to the incident in which MTV star Matthew Pritchard was hurt at the Co-op and Post Office store in Toftwood, just outside Dereham, last September.

The Welsh presenter is known for the Dirty Sanchez show in which various outrageous stunts are performed - and the judge said he was starting to get a headache after hearing details of some of them.

Mr Pritchard told the court he was 'more or less a stuntman' and told how he had been run over by a car and shot at point-blank range by a rubber bullet while wearing a protective vest. After one description of the show, which has been censured by a television watchdog, Recorder William Andreae-Jones QC said: 'I think I am getting one of my headaches.'

Mark Smith, 42, of Charles Close, Toftwood, denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and having a bladed weapon in a public place.

It was heard Smith had been in the post office to cash a Giro cheque but had been turned away after failing to produce identification.

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He later returned and bought some milk and topped up his electricity meter card when he became abusive, the court heard.

Mr Pritchard, who was in the county visiting his girlfriend, went into the store to buy a drink when he heard the 'verbal abuse'.

Giving evidence before a jury of five women and seven men, Mr Pritchard, from Cardiff, said: 'He was swearing and hurling abuse.

'He was just being a nuisance and was verbally violent and there were women and children in the shop at the time.

'I didn't think anything of it and kept myself to myself but he started to give more abuse. I couldn't handle it any more, the abuse he was giving when there were women and children in there, and I lost my temper, told him to show some respect and leave the shop.

'I grabbed him and pushed him out. He turned and I thought he was going to punch me but he slashed at me right down my neck and blood starting squirting out of my neck. It was awful to tell you the truth. I thought I was going to die.'

Mr Pritchard claims Smith used a knife, described as being a blade within an orange half-moon shaped plastic casing, against him.

The incident happened just outside the doors of the East of England Co-operative Society store in Shipdham Road.

During cross-examination, the court heard the various stunts Mr Pritchard has been seen doing during his show, including being dragged across sandpaper while naked, having his hair set alight and putting fish hooks in his ears.

Jonathan Goodman, defending Smith, said Mr Prichard was 'prone to exaggeration'. He said: 'You had lost your temper by then hadn't you? You were intent on giving him a good hiding weren't you?'

Mr Pritchard said he had considered punching Smith but thought better of it and that once outside he had no intention of punching or hurting him.

The trial continues.