A SOUTHAMPTON man accused of a savage attack that nearly killed a man claimed in court that he acted in self-defence.

Alan Laidler, 36, said David Osborne had punched him at a flat in Shirley and that he had defended himself.

Laidler said he only stabbed Osborne once and then another man, Rob Seagrave had rained numerous blows on Mr Osborne, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Laidler, of Murray Close, Thornhill, denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent and four charges of witness intimidation.

Mr Osborne, 29, suffered 15 stab wounds and his life was saved by paramedics. He was left blind in one eye.

The jury heard that Laidler had been with his friend Mr Seagrave at the latter’s room of a shared house in Winchester Road, Shirley, in June 2011.

Mr Osborne had visited and there had been bad blood between Laidler and Mr Osborne since the latter had attacked two of Laidler’s friends in October 2010.

But Laidler told the jury there had been no problem until he suspected Mr Osborne had stolen a £20 bag of his herbal cannabis.

He told him he would leave the room and on his return he expected the drugs to be returned.

On his return, he said: “Osborne was bare-chested. He had taken his shirt off. He jumped up and started attacking me, throwing punches, five, six, maybe seven.

“I was frightened for my welfare. As a result of striking out in selfdefence, it caused an injury to his eye.”

He said he panicked and with Mr Seagrave they dumped the unconscious Mr Osborne outside the house.

“I was going to leave, but Seagrave is a good friend, so we decided to get Osborne out of the house. It was just panic and fear. I was in severe shock.

I didn’t know what was going on.”

The jury was told that both Laidler and Mr Osborne have long criminal records for violence, Laidler’s stretching back to 1999 and Mr Osborne’s to 2001.

Laidler also denied making threats to four potential witnesses including Mr Seagrave in letters sent from Winchester Prison. He said anyone could have taken his stationary from his cell.