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Man jailed for machete attack in road rage incident

|News, Violent crime

A Merseyside man has been jailed for attacking a man with a machete in a vicious road rage incident.

Custody photo of Thomas Peers
Thomas Peers

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Thomas Peers, 29, attacked the 42-year-old victim after they had rowed over an incident in Ward Street in Prescot on 19 July 2020.

The incident happened at around 10.15am. The victim was a front seat passenger in a VW Golf car and Peers was in a white Transit van. Ward Street is narrow and the two vehicles could not immediately pass each other.

Both came to a stop and the drivers and passengers exchanged words. The driver of the Golf drove off towards nearby Evans Street and the driver of the Transit van followed him. The two vehicles came to a stop again.

The argument escalated and one of the men from the Transit van produced a machete. The victim ran off and thought that he had escaped, but Peers, of Woodlands Road in Roby, followed him to a car park in Hope Street and drove the van straight at him, ramming him against the shutters of a funeral parlour.

The victim managed to run off into an alleyway, but was pursued by Peers, who was carrying the machete. The victim tried to climb over a wall but Peers lashed out and cut the victim’s leg. He then aimed the machete at the victim’s neck and inflicted what the CPS said was a “savage and murderous blow”, creating a deep gash about 5cm long.

Peers with machete
Peers with machete

The victim survived due to the help of neighbours near the scene, the police and ambulance staff and surgeons at Aintree Hospital. The surgeon who treated him said that the neck wound could have caused life-threatening bleeding and that the victim was lucky not to have been more seriously injured.

Peers drove off after the attack and abandoned the van near Whiston Hospital. When a local resident noticed it had been abandoned for a couple of days, they contacted the police.

The van was searched and Peers' bank card was found and his mobile phone. The police used number plate tracking technology and CCTV from the area to track the movements of Peers before, during and after the incident.

He was arrested on 30 July and denied everything initially, eventually he admitted he was at the scene but denied he had dealt the blows.

On 2 February 2021, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court found him guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and dangerous driving. He had previously entered a guilty plea to possessing a bladed article.

Today (19 February 2020) at Liverpool Crown Court, he was given a 16-year sentence: 12 years to be spent in prison, four years on licence.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Caroline Ross of CPS Mersey Cheshire said: “The Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with Merseyside Police to painstakingly build this case against Thomas Peers.

“In the end, the case was so strong that Peers had no choice but to accept that he was at the scene, however he still denied being the driver of the van and the person shown chasing the victim with the machete.

“Peers tried to persuade the jury that another, mystery person, caused the injuries.  The jury saw through his story and unanimously convicted him.

“The victim did not attend the trial but the CPS continued the prosecution in his absence in the public interest. We welcome the successful conclusion of this case.”

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