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Burnley man jailed for sword attack on love rival
A WIDOWER who attacked a love rival with two 'dangerous' Japanese swords over a young woman has been jailed for 20 months.
Former publican Ian Brennan, 56, from Burnley, confronted the victim in the street after threatening to 'gut him like a fish.'
He had earlier told ex-girlfriend Claire Taylor, 24, to find a man her own age, but got jealous when she did, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Brennan, then a Rolls Royce engineer, found out Miss Taylor would be going to the dentist with her new partner Stuart McDowell.
He lay in wait outside the surgery in Brierfield town centre, armed with the two 'very sharp' ornamental weapons.
Brennan, who had phoned the victim and threatened: "I'm going to gut you like a fish," brandished one of the knives at Mr McDowell.
The victim was cut wrestling the sword from the defendant and a struggle followed in which the Mr McDowell suffered lacerations under his rib and to his left shin.
A shocked onlooker described the two men as grappling 'like Sumo wrestlers.'
The defendant, of Brockenhurst Street, Burnley, had admitted wounding and possessing an offensive weapon, on May 8.
Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said Brennan had been with Miss Taylor for about two and a half years and they had lived together.
The relationship ended earlier this year, but they continued to share his house.
The defendant encouraged her to find someone more her own age and she met Mr McDowell.
Brennan became jealous and when Miss Taylor went to Mr McDowell's over the Bank Holiday weekend, the defendant was left at home to dwell on things.
The young couple received text messages, some threatening, from the defendant.
Brennan telephoned and told Mr McDowell: "I am going to gut you like a fish."
He also said: "I will fight you and I will do time for it."
Miss Statham said Brennan knew Miss Taylor was going to the dentist.
He went to the practice, tried unsuccessfully to find out what time her appointment was and told staff if she turned up with a man there was going to be trouble.
The couple arrived in Brierfield in their vehicle and the defendant was waiting in a parked car.
The victim, anticipating trouble, told Miss Taylor to go into the dental surgery.
He decided to confront Brennan and the defendant got out of his vehicle, with a sword in each hand.
The defendant approached Mr McDowell and went to strike him, first brandishing the 10 inch, larger of the two swords.
The victim grabbed hold of the blade and received several cuts to his hand, but managed to wrestle with the defendant and disarm him of the larger knife, which he threw away.
Brennan still had the smaller sword, the two men began to struggle and ended up on the ground.
During the tussle, Mr McDowell suffered various other wounds, but eventually got the better of the defendant and punched and kicked him. He got up and left and Brennan got up and went back to his vehicle.
The prosecutor said Mr McDowell went to hospital for treatment to his wounds. Police were called and the knives were recovered.
Brennan was arrested and interviewed and claimed he had intended to use the knives to threaten.
He had 11 offences on his record, but nothing since 2001.
Mark Stuart, for Brennan, said he had been at a low ebb. He had suffered a triple loss, with the deaths of his wife, brother and father.
The defendant, who had worked for Rolls Royce for eight years, lost his wife in October 2009.
Miss Taylor lived across the road, a relationship developed, she moved in in 2010 but he came to the conclusion she was really too young for him.
They remained on friendly terms.
Mr Stuart continued: "By the time of the incident he had become rather depressed. He wasn't quite thinking straight. On the one hand, he was saying to Claire Taylor "go and get a relationship," she does and he doesn't like it."
Rolls Royce had effectively dismissed him because of what happened.
Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt said the incident involved premeditation.
She added: "Such a serious attack and your intention to use these knives and threaten means there must be an immediate custodial sentence."