Cleared: [LEFT]Father who chopped off intruder's ear with samurai sword after he threatened to rape and kill his family
A father who defended his family from drug-crazed thugs by wounding one with a Samurai sword has been cleared by a jury.
David Fullard, 47, was prosecuted for attacking the two strangers who forced their way into his home and threatened to rape his partner and kill his two teenage children.He insisted he was a desperate man acting legally in self-defence and struck out once with the ornamental sword, because it was the only weapon to hand.The blow almost sliced off the ear of Michael Severs, one of the thugs.
The prosecution refused to accept that his actions amounted to lawful self-defence and argued it was 'over the top' to attack a man armed with a knuckleduster by using a 'battlefield weapon'.The two thugs were both high on a cocktail of drink and drugs at the time, the court heard.
But after a five-day trial at Hull Crown Court, Mr Fullard, a builder, broke down in tears as he was found not guilty of unlawful wounding.It ended a nine-month ordeal for a man described by neighbours as 'honest and caring'. He had faced the threat of a long prison term.The case represents another landmark in the debate over how far a householder should be allowed to go in defending his home from an intruder.
Yesterday jobless Severs, 22, and Michael Smith, 19, escaped with a suspended prison sentence and 100 hours of community work after admitting affray at the court.
Judge Michael Mettyear then lifted a reporting restriction on the case.
Outside court Mr Fullard criticised the judge for allowing the men to get away with a 'slap on the wrists'.
"Severs and Smith,who both have previous convictions for violence"
He added: 'You cannot stand around and do nothing when someone-comes to your house and starts threatening your family.'
Mr Fullard has been supported throughout by partner Susan Neal, 53, and his sons Danny, 14, and Tom, 17, who were in the house during the incident in March last year.
The court heard Severs and Smith, who both have previous convictions for violence, vaguely knew Mr Fullard's elder son and knocked on the door of the family home in Brough, East Yorkshire, claiming he owed them £5 from earlier in the day.
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