A MAN who had been arrested for stabbing someone in Leamington, escaped police by climbing out a hospital window where he was being treated.
But Matthew Cleary, who had been left unattended while an officer went to get him a pair of slippers, was caught again within minutes, a judge at Warwick Crown Court has heard.
The 27-year-old of Ranelagh Terrace, Leamington, was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to wounding, perverting the course of justice, assault and escape.
In October last year Sean Collins and a friend were walking home from a pub in the small hours, when they saw Cleary in Ranelagh Terrace.
There had been bad blood between Cleary, who was with three other men, and Mr Collins going back three years.
A fight took place between the two parties, and this defendant produced a knife and stabbed the complainant to the stomach, chest and thigh.
Prosecutor Maninder Chaggar pointed out Cleary had entered his plea on the basis he had picked up the knife after finding it outside his house, and produced it to protect himself, but accepted he should not have done so.
Cleary ran off, and Mr Collins was taken to hospital where his wounds, described as ‘superficial,’ were stitched.
Two months later Mr Collins was in Kingsway, Leamington when Cleary approached him and pleaded with him to drop the charges, offering him money, before changing his attitude and threatening to stab him again.
After he was eventually traced and arrested last April, he was taken to Warwick Hospital two days later after complaining he felt unwell.
At the hospital one officer stayed in the room with him, with a second officer outside. After the officer in the room left to fetch him a pair of slippers for Cleary to go to the bathroom in, the defendant jumped out of the window. But he was seen jumping over a wall, and chased and re-arrested not far from the hospital.
Miss Chaggar said Cleary had also admitted an earlier assault on his girlfriend Nicole Parsons after he had stayed up all night drinking at their home.
She explained Cleary had grabbed her by the hair, banged her head against the wall and punched her to the face, before a neighbour intervened and called the police.
Nick Devine, defending, said it was clear both matters passed the ‘custody threshold’. He added: “It is clear that over a period of some time there had been some considerable enmity between Mr Cleary and Mr Collins.
“On that night Mr Collins was a more than willing participant in the altercation that took place, and excessive self-defence had a part to play in what happened.”
Jailing Cleary, Recorder Charles Falk told him: “It may very well be that both of you got involved in a fight, but you made it very much more serious because you chose to pick up a knife and brought a knife to a fist fight.
“It is a matter of very good fortune that you did not cause more serious injury than you did. Fortunately there was no internal damage and none of those wounds were life-threatening.”
And Recorder Falk added: “The escape was not the most serious of escapes, it was more opportunistic.
“You were being guarded by two police officers and, using some subterfuge, you arranged for the officer with you to leave, and you took the opportunity of jumping out of the window.”