Gardeners in pitchfork stab cul-de-sac battle

Police at the scene in Riversway, Poulton
Police at the scene in Riversway, Poulton

Two rival gardening firms clashed on a quiet residential cul-de-sac in Poulton with one man stabbed with a pitchfork and another hit across the head with a hammer, a court was told.

Violence is said to have flared in the Riversway area where the brothers had travelled over from Manchester to carry out some gardening work.

Trouble erupted when several other men, also from Manchester, were going door-to-door in that area, selling compost.

Preston Crown Court was told there had been a feud between two of the men. There had apparently been a number of previous incidents, some of which had involved the police.

On trial are Wayne Langley, 29, of Lingfield Road, Clayton, Manchester; Arthur Pollitt, 54, of Eaves Lane, Oldham and 43-year-old Andrew Pollitt of Park View, Oldham.

All deny a charge of wounding one man, with intent to do him grievous bodily harm on April 3 this year, as well as an alternative charge of unlawful wounding.

Langley and Andrew Pollitt deny wounding another man with intent and and alternative allegation of unlawful wounding.

Andrew Pollitt also denies damaging a Ford Transit vehicle, while Langley and Arthur Pollitt also deny a count of affray.

At the start of the trial Miss Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, said one of the alleged victims was aged 53 and his brother 49.

On April 3 the older brother was helping out his brother in his gardening business. They arrived at the location of their first job around 10am and parked on Riversway.

It was a quiet, residential cul-de-sac where many retired people live, the court heard.

They began to work and by coincidence, the defendants, who are also in the gardening business, were in the same area going door-to-door sellingcompost. The two brothers were spreading compost on a front garden when a flat back vehicle turned up.

It was alleged that Langley got out and armed himself with a pitch fork. One of the alleged victims approached Langley and was allegedly stabbed to the chest with the pitch fork that was being held with two hands.

The younger brother picked up a spade to protect himself, thinking the men had come to kill him, the court heard.

Andrew Pollitt allegedly smashed the passenger window and windscreen with a hammer. One of the brothers tried to swing a spade at him, but did not make contact.

The man, when unarmed, ran towards Langley. It was said he had realised he had no alternative but to fight and ended up struck to the right hand with the pitch fork.

Andrew Pollitt, it is claimed, struck him to the back of the head with a hammer. He lost consciousness, but came to afterwards.

The older man allegedly saw his brother being attacked by the defendant and another male. His brother was described as lying on his back in the road.

The four men were armed with gardening tools and using them as weapons.

The prosecution claim that Andrew Pollitt struck him at least three blows to the region of his head, with a claw hammer. The gardener was putting up his hands in a bid to try and protect his face.

Some of his teeth had been knocked out.

Arthur Pollitt and a fourth man were said to have been stood on each side of his shoulders.

It is claimed they used tools to hold him down on the ground while Andrew Pollitt attacked him with the hammer.

As a result, the older brother ran at the four men. He is said to have been stabbed to the upper arm by two prongs on the pitch fork held by Langley.

Andrew Pollitt, is is claimed, struck him to the head by swinging a hammer.