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MTV star tells court about alleged attack

PUBLISHED: 14:46 11 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:16 16 September 2010

Matthew Pritchard

Matthew Pritchard

Emma Knights

MTV star Matthew Pritchard has returned to Norfolk for the trial of the man accused of attacking him in a Dereham store.

Mark Smith, 43, of Charles Close, Toftwood, denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to the Welsh TV presenter during an alleged attack at the Shipdham Road Co-op and Post Office store in September last year.

MTV star Matthew Pritchard has returned to Norfolk for the trial of the man accused of attacking him in a Dereham store.

Mark Smith, 43, of Charles Close, Toftwood, denies wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to the Welsh TV presenter during an alleged attack at the Shipdham Road Co-op and Post Office store in September last year.

In the opening day of the trial at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, jurors were shown CCTV footage of the events from a number of different angles.

The court heard that Smith had wanted to cash in a giro at the post office, but had been turned away because he had had no identification, and when he returned a short while later to buy milk and top up his electricity card, he became verbally abusive.

Mr Pritchard - who is well known for the Dirty Sanchez show in which numerous outrageous stunts are performed - and his girlfriend had been customers in the store at the time and had heard the alleged abusive language.

Giving evidence, Mr Pritchard said when he entered the shop Smith was swearing and causing a nuisance. He said Smith had got louder and louder and more threatening, and that he thought he heard a man in the shop tell him to calm down.

Mr Pritchard said Smith left the shop, but then returned and carried on swearing and being verbally abusive.

“That's when I went over and said there's women and children in the shop, calm down,” he said.

“I grabbed him and chucked him out of the shop.”

He said all of a sudden Smith made an overarm slashing movement with what he claimed looked like a Stanley knife-like blade with a plastic handle that was orange and in the shape of a half moon.

“It happened so quick. As he swung I thought, 'he did not punch me.' It was when I turned around my girlfriend just burst into tears and fell to the floor. That is when I realised he had stabbed me. I touched myself and I could feel blood,” he said.

Mr Pritchard received injuries under his chin and on his chest and had to have a number of stitches at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Jonathan Goodman, defending Smith, highlighted that on Mr Pritchard's TV shows the stunts Mr Pritchard has been involved in have included being dragged across sandpaper naked and putting fish hooks in his ears, and that on the shows he has also been involved with striking people with things like a football, skateboard and cactus.

Mr Goodman said Smith had been defending himself from what he perceived to be an attack by Mr Pritchard.

He said: “Whatever caused that cut, it was because you (Mr Pritchard) had lunged at him (Smith), grabbed at him. You wanted to give him a good hiding. You were furious at him, were you not?”

Mr Pritchard said: “I did not want to give him a good hiding. I wanted to get him out of the shop.”

Mr Pritchard's girlfriend at the time, Victoria Lee, also gave evidence yesterday. She said Mr Pritchard had just wanted to diffuse the situation and stop the trouble. She there was “a bit of a scuffle in the doorway” between Smith and Mr Pritchard.

“It was very quick. Next thing I see is Matthew coming towards me with his hands all around his neck, blood everywhere. He said I have been stabbed,” she said.

The trial continues.

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