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Court told of stab frenzy

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: April 19, 2012

Exeter Crown Court

A MAN survived despite being stabbed 38 times in a "determined and frenzied attack" at his home in Exeter.

David Johnson, 33, used a kitchen knife to repeatedly stab Danny Ross, 44, known as 'Fat Dan', after tying his belt around the older man's neck and choking him until he was unconscious, Exeter Crown Court heard.

The jury of eight men and four women heard that when paramedics went to the flat a couple of hours later, after 999 calls, including one alleged to be from Johnson himself, using a "fake accent", they found Ross sitting on a sofa in a blood-soaked shirt, surrounded by "pools of blood".

Heroin addict Ross, a "highly intelligent man" who has suffered poor mental health, including depression, since a road accident 20 years ago, was rushed to hospital after the attack on August 18, last year.

Despite having lost a lot of blood, he survived.

His wounds required 70 stitches.

Prosecutor, Sean Brunton, said Johnson had gone with a friend to Ross's flat in Sidwell Street, in the city, at around 9.30pm and told him, "You owe my dad two bags", a reference to heroin.

When they got there, Ross was sitting on the sofa, sobbing and talking about how he wanted to die.

"The defendant said to Ross: You want to die do you?

"The defendant then removes his belt and loops it around Danny Ross's neck and tightened it as if to strangle him," Mr Brunton said.

He added that Johnson's friend made an attempt to stop him before fleeing back to his car. The prosecution say that second call was the defendant making a disguised-voice call," Mr Brunton said.

Ross told police that Johnson attacked him, and the defendant was arrested in the early hours of the next morning at his home in Foxhayes Road, in the Exwick area of Exeter.

Johnson, who the court heard had alcohol and drug addictions, denies attempted murder, saying he went to the flat and argued with Mr Ross but did not attack him in any way.

The trial continues at Exeter Crown Court.

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