A PARANOID drug addict ‘left his friend for dead’ and only stopped his ‘frenzied’ attack when the knife snapped, a court heard.

Knife-attacker Richard Smith was called to the witness box, telling the jury at Worcester Crown Court he thought former 'friend' James Gillott was dead when he fled his blood-splattered groundfloor Malvern flat.

The jury had already been shown the broken, bent and bloody knife Smith used to inflict 24 stab wounds and the heavy, blood-stained radiator he used to bludgeon his neighbour around the head and push it down upon his neck as he lay on the floor pleading for his life.

They have also been shown harrowing body cam video footage of the victim sitting on his blood-soaked bed with his ear hanging off as he told officers: "I thought he was my mate and he tried to murder me!"

Mr Gillott also gave evidence behind a screen, telling the jury he was covered in scars after the attack and lost two thirds of the blood in his body as he was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

During what he called 'a frenzied attack' Mr Gillott thought of his daughter which he said gave him the strength to survive.

He estimates the attack lasted 20 minutes, beginning in the bedroom and continuing in the hallway and the kitchen. He told the jury Smith remained silent throughout the attack. Mr Gillott said he was stabbed 'at least 20 to 30 times'.

Smith, 32, of North Malvern Road admits section 18 wounding with intent but denies attempted murder after the attack on November 13 last year which left the victim’s ear hanging off.

The 44-year-old also had injuries to his face, head, neck and back as well as defensive injuries to his hands and arms.

The victim reported the attack at 11.13pm and at 11.52pm the same evening Smith was arrested at his parent's house which was by then surrounded by firearms officers.

The jury was expected to retire yesterday (Thursday) to consider its verdict following the four-day trial.

The court heard that Mr Gillott was so bloody from the attack he could not open his front door to escape, his hand slipping on the handle. In the end he smashed his own kitchen window with a mug tree so he could scream for help.

On Wednesday Smith was examined by his barrister, Graham Henson, admitting he had taken ‘pretty much everything’ since the age of 18 including crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis, sometimes on top of a methadone prescription designed to wean him off heroin.

He also referred to ‘dark periods’ when he would binge on drugs.

At the time he had been ‘sofa surfing’, sleeping at his mum’s house in Dixey Court, North Malvern Road, next door to the flat where the assault happened.

Smith became ‘paranoid’ that Mr Gillott and his friend Jack Spacie had hacked his computer in the days before the attack.

Smith said of 999 calls he made two days before the attack: “In my own funny way I was trying to reach out for help.”

He said of the attack itself: “I must have blacked out and gone into a rage.”

Smith denied he would have taken the kitchen knife used to stab Mr Gillott from his mother's address, saying he must have picked it up at the victim's flat. Mr Gillott’s evidence was that the knife was not his. Smith was asked why he attacked his friend and said: “I can’t explain that. It was a horrible thing. I can’t put it into words it’s that terrible.”

Smith, who gave a no comment interview to police, said: “I thought I had killed him.”

Smith spent 'four or five days' in hospital after the attack because he took an overdose, saying he was trying to kill himself. Rebecca Wade, prosecuting, asked Smith if he had given Valium tablets to his victim before the attack to ‘subdue him’ but the defendant said he had been taking Valium too.

“You stabbed him with such force the knife snapped in your hand, didn’t it?” said Miss Wade to which he Smith replied 'yes'.

“You didn’t even have the decency to pick up the phone and and call an ambulance, even anonymously, to try and get this man help, did you? The reality is that you left him for dead, didn’t you?”

“Yes” replied Smith.

She said when he returned to his mum’s Smith ‘didn’t tell a soul’ what he had done, putting his blood-stained jogging bottoms under other clothes in the washing basket.

“In your mind someone was destined for a body bag. I’m going to suggest you intended that person to be James Gillott.

“Definitely not” said Smith.

Earlier in the day Home Office pathologist Dr Alexander Kolar identified 25 ‘areas of injury’ to James Gillott after what he called a ‘sustained incident’, including at least 20 injuries caused by the knife, described as ‘sharp point injuries’.

Several of the lacerations could have been caused either by blunt force trauma involving the use of the heater or sharp-force injuries from the knife.

Some wounds were consistent with the tip of the knife being used in a stabbing motion or slicing action which had created ‘slit-like wounds’.

Mr Gillott sustained injuries to his face, the left side of the back of the neck, the back, scalp and arms and hands, some of which were consistent with defensive wounds.

One of the sharp force injuries ran across the temple, splitting the ear and detaching the root of the ear which Dr Kolar said was consistent with a ‘slicing or chopping type action with a bladed implement’.

The majority of the injuries in both number and severity were to the face and left hand side of the neck close to the carotid artery and jugular vein. The stab wounds, delivered with ‘moderate force’ (equivalent to a reasonable punch), also caused damage to both the salivary gland and the mandibular nerve (causing facial asymmetry) which required surgical repair.

The victim’s blood pressure on admission to the QE was 62 when the normal reading is 120 over 80.

This was attributed to the level of blood loss which meant he needed an urgent transfusion before he could have any scans.

If left untreated the volume of blood in the victim’s body would not have been sufficient to allow the victim's heart and brain to function and would have resulted in his death.

The trial continues.