A PENSIONER has been cleared of an axe attack on a motorist and his van after an alleged feud.

Michael Dack was acquitted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday following a trial over the alleged attack in Newbridge Green, near Upton. The 72-year-old gardener of Queen Elizabeth Road, Malvern, had been accused of smashing up Daniel Cummings’s van with the axe and then attacking him through the window of the cab, cracking one of his ribs with a blow to the chest on September 4, 2018. Mr Dack, who gave evidence from the witness box, denied any such incident had occurred. He said Mr Cummings had previously been aggressive and was ‘the sort of person who wanted a shouting match’, referring to him as ‘a very angry person’. Mr Cummings accused Mr Dack of letting the tyre down on his Porsche before the alleged attack. However, Mr Dack told the jury he said to his accuser at the time: “Why on earth would I do that?”

He also questioned how he could have let the tyre down as he had never seen the car left outside of Mr Cumming’s property. When asked if he had let it down, he said: “With four vicious dogs in the yard? I think not.”

Describing the axe as a ‘chopper’, he said he had not put it away, leaving it in the garden of the woman he had been working for along with his glasses and jumper before all three items went missing. Mr Cummings told the jury he managed to wrestle the axe from Mr Dack as well as his jumper during a struggle. Mr Cummings maintained he also had Mr Dack’s glasses because he had snatched them from him.

Mr Dack said on the day of the alleged incident he had swerved to avoid Mr Cummings as he had had reversed out of his drive but headed straight home afterwards, denying any confrontation had taken place.

Represented by Jason Aris, the pensioner denied producing an axe and attacking Mr Cummings and his van in Monsell Lane. Mr Dack said he had ‘never been up Monsell Lane’. When shown photos of Mr Cumming’s injuries he said: “It looks like he’s fallen on something. It doesn’t look like an axe injury.”

He was asked in cross-examination if he was claiming Mr Cummings had stolen the items and discarded the axe after attacking his own van with it.

But Mr Dack said: “I did not do it.”