A ‘PARANOID’ drug addict who stabbed his friend and battered him with a storage heater was trying to murder him during a ‘ferocious’ and ‘frenzied’ attack, a court heard.

Richard Smith admits wounding his former friend with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm but denies attempting to murder him in the victim's Malvern flat. The prosecution say Smith of North Malvern Road, Malvern became 'paranoid' his victim James Gillott had hacked his computer in the days before the attack. The prosecution opened the case during during a scheduled five day trial which began at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

The 32-year-old carried out the attack at his friend’s one bedroom groundfloor flat in North Malvern Road on November 13 last year after letting himself in. Mr Gillott gave evidence behind a screen, telling the jury he lost two thirds of his blood during an attack which lasted 20 minutes and had ‘scars all over me’ after being stabbed 'at least 20 to 30 times'.

Mr Gillott described how the attack began in the bedroom after Smith threw a couple of Diazapam tablets onto his bed. When he turned to plug something in he said Smith began 'bashing me' with the storage heater and stabbing him with a knife. Mr Gillott tried to get out through the front door but could not grip the handle as his hand slipped because of all the blood. He said his attacker, who remained quiet throughout, pushed the electric storage heater into his throat as the victim begged for his life, saying 'I have a daughter'.

Mr Gillott, who said he had been clean of drugs since the assault, managed to get free and smash the kitchen window with a cup-holder and call for help. He told the jury 'I was trying to plead for my life' and that 'I thought of my daughter and it gave me strength'.

Neighbour Christopher Mason described the the victim as 'hysterical' and 'covered in blood' with his skin 'hanging off'. The knife also broke during the attack.

The victim suffered a punctured lung and he had to have part of his ear amputated following surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He was treated for ‘multiple penetrating injuries' to the left side of his head, ears, neck, hands and shoulder blade.

Mr Gillott said: "It was a frenzied attack. It really was quite brutal."

Rebecca Wade, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution case is that this defendant attacked his friend in a ferocious sustained attack using a knife and an electric heater to repeatedly strike him, causing him to suffer multiple serious injuries.

“The prosecution say that the ferocity of the attack was such that this defendant could only have intended one thing and that is to kill his victim.”

She added: “He was pleading for his life but the defendant did not stop this sustained and vicious attack."

Miss Wade argued that Smith's paranoia was in part ‘due to his consumption of drugs’ and some mental health difficulties.

Smith had even complained to the police about the hacking, accusing both Mr Gillott and Jack Spacie, a friend of the victim. The defendant had spotted a memory stick belonging to Mr Spacie in the victim’s flat.

Mr Spacie was ‘bombarded with telephone calls’ accusing him and Mr Gillott of ‘hacking him’ said Miss Wade.

The trial continues.