A DENTIST who inflicted life-threatening stab wounds on a man he found drinking and taking drugs with his wife has told a court he was acting in self defence.

Phillip Gale, 50, said he was scared of Andrew Smith, a drug user with a record for violence, who he had previously banned from his home in Foulridge.

Mr Smith, 52, suffered four knife wounds to his back and torso and was left fighting for his life on Gale’s hallway floor after the incident on October 16.

But Gale said he did not intend to kill or cause serious injury to Mr Smith, insisting he picked up the knife to try and get Smith to leave his home.

He said: “I didn’t intend on stabbing him. I didn’t intend on causing him any harm.

“He scared the living daylights out of me.”

Married Gale told the court he returned from a day trip to Blackpool and saw Mr Smith’s van outside his house.

He went into the kitchen and saw Mr Smith sitting on a stool at the breakfast bar.

Gale told the court he asked Mr Smith to leave, several times, but when Mr Smith did not go, he took him by the shoulders.

When Mr Smith responded by pinning him against the kitchen units he reached for the knife to defend himself.

He said: “Initially I thought it would scare him. After that, everything that happened to the knife was me reacting to what he was doing to me.”

Giving evidence at Preston Crown Court, tearful Gale told the court: “He charged at me.”

Gale decribed a ‘skirmish’ in which Mr Smith struggled against him as he tried to push him towards the door.

He accepted he had stabbed Mr Smith but said he thought he had stabbed his arm.

He said during a previous incident in which he had caught Smith trying to climb into their house through his wife’s bedroom window, Mr Smith had told him he would kill him.

However under cross-examination, Gale accepted Mr Smith had never attacked or caused him any injury.

He told the court in the aftermath of the struggle, when Mr Smith collapsed, he told his wife: “You’d better sort your mate out.”

Despite being medically trained he said he did not help his wife, a dental nurse, in administering first aid.

He told the court: “I am not that cold hearted to have left him bleeding on the floor but my wife was doing everything that could be done.”

Asked whether he thought stabbing Mr Smith four times was a reasonable response to his refusing to leave, Glae said: “The reason he ended up with four stab wounds was that he continued to attack me.”