A MAN described how he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a stranger wielding a fence plank or pole outside his garden gate.

The 49-year-old man had just returned home from a wedding anniversary celebration at a nearby social club in Landseer Close, Stanley, County Durham, when he became aware of noise further up the road.

He told Durham Crown Court he heard a fence being broken and his partner emerged shouting to the youths responsible to: “Pack it in.”

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One of the youths ran over the road shouting: “I’m going to kill somebody tonight.”

The man made his way into the house but went back out when he heard more shouting outside.

On emerging he saw a youth wearing a blue t-shirt standing with a plank or pole on the path outside his gate shouting: “Come on, come on.”

He said he went out of the gate expecting the youth to run away, but instead the plank or pole was thrust at his head, causing him to stumble to the ground.

Further blows followed which he tried to fend off with his arms, before the youth responsible ran from the scene when neighbours emerged to see what was happening.

The victim was taken to hospital suffering four cuts and other injuries about the scalp and head, all of which were staple-stitched.

He also suffered abrasions and grazes to his arms, hands and back in the attack, shortly after midnight on Saturday July 2, last year (2011).

Adrian Dent, prosecuting, told the court that police searched the area and arrested three youths, including then 18-year-old Josh Lumley, all of whom were sweating and out of breath.

Mr Lumley’s bloodstained blue t-shirt was removed and subsequent forensic examination revealed the blood was from the victim of the attack.

When interviewed Mr Lumley made no comment, both after his initial arrest and months later when the forensic evidence was put to him.

But Mr Dent said the victim was unable to pick out anyone responsible for the attack in a subsequent video identity parade.

Mr Lumley, now 20, of Dene View Stanley, denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and the alternative of unlawful wounding.

The trial continues today.