Paramedics and police must have encountered a gruesome scene when they arrived at the home of former Carlisle bouncer Jason Bowman.
It was the evening of November 16 last year and the 39-year-old was relaxing with some of his friends at his Welsh Road home in Harraby.
They were in the living room drinking tea when there was a knock on the door.
In a split second, the relaxed mood was shattered as a mob of about six people burst into the property, all armed.
Bowman quickly realised that they were carrying an array of frightening weapons – knives, a wrench, a screwdriver, and a crowbar.
Determined to stand his ground, Bowman grabbed an axe and – according to his account given in court – set about defending himself.
He told a jury that he roared as he fought with the mob in his living room.
He said: “I was acting in self-defence. I could not have done anything else. I was completely fighting for my life.
“I was blindly swinging it and fending off the blows. With the adrenaline going I was thrashing about.”
By the time the dust had settled and the injured had been treated, police concluded Bowman had gone too far and charged him with attempted murder.
Their view was put to the jury by prosecutor Robert Wyn Jones, who said that everybody has the right to defend themselves in their home, using “reasonable force.”
Even using the axe to defend himself could be deemed reasonable if he genuinely believed it was necessary to protect himself.
But the case centred on what happened beyond that point – Bowman’s decision to continue attacking Hall after he ceased to be a threat. Mr Wyn Jones said the defendant went beyond reasonable self-defence by continuing the attack even after Hall was defenceless.
The jury agreed.
Though they did not convict Bowman of attempted murder, they did find him guilty of intentionally causing his victim grievous bodily harm.
Jailing him for five years, Judge Paul Batty QC told the defendant: “There came a point, fairly early on,when you were no longer under attack but became the attacker yourself.”
News & Star: Cumbria