A MAN standing trial for attempted murder stabbed a man in the heart and the neck outside a supermarket after he called him a paedophile on the bus, a court was told.

Mark Pearson, 46, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on Tuesday over the attack, which took place near Aldi in Spennymoor on the afternoon of September 9.

The victim was stabbed a total of eight times on Cambridge Street after he crossed paths with Pearson, of Eden Road, in Spennymoor, on the X21 Arriva bus from Newcastle, Ian Brook, prosecuting, told the court.

Pearson denies attempted murder.

CCTV showed the men sitting near one another on the bus for about 45 minutes without any contact, however it is alleged that as the victim left the bus, he told other passengers that Pearson was a paedophile, which led to Pearson running after him and an exchange taking place before the bus pulled away with Pearson remaining on board.

Mr Brook told the court the men had ongoing “chew” between them for months, adding that on one occasion Pearson had tried to “chop his [the victim’s] head off with a road sign” and on another had “chased him with a homemade bat”.

He said: “The complainant and the defendant are known to one another, the complainant described in interview how they had chew. He accepts that he has a lot of enemies but he said none of them, apart from the defendant, had ever said that they were going to stab him.

“The complainant had a notion that the defendant was a registered sex offender, which he is not, he has never ever been convicted of any sexual offences against children.”

The court heard that after the victim left the bus in Spennymoor town centre, the pair again crossed paths near Aldi where they both began shouting “come on then” and waving their arms.

Mr Brook said eyewitnesses due to give evidence this week describe seeing Pearson with a knife behind his back as he approached the victim and began swinging at him in a “frenzied manner” before running away heavily covered in blood.

He added: “He held the mistaken belief that the complainant had a knife, which the prosecution do not accept. You have seen the CCTV which shows the defendant with the knife behind his back. The fact that in the past he had wrongly accused him of being a paedophile the crown say is no excuse for stabbing him in the heart and lung with that knife.

“These were extremely life threatening serious injuries carried out in a frenzied manner.”

The trial continues.