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Builder 'beaten by gang' as he tried to collect debt from Caldy businessman
A builder who went to collect an outstanding debt from a customer in Caldy was allegedly attacked by a gang armed with a gun and a knife, a court has heard.
Michael Wainwright went into the house at Croft Drive West while his brother and a work colleague waited in a van outside.
After householder Paul Winskill let him in, it was claimed Winskill slammed the front door behind him.
He turned to face Winskill who pushed him back causing him to stumble into the hallway.
"When he looked around he saw he was not alone. There were several other males,” claimed Zia Chaudhry, prosecuting.
“The next thing he recalled was someone saying ‘hello’ and he saw Matthew Clarke, whom he recognised as being an associate of Mr Winskill.
"Mr Clarke then punched him and thereafter he was punched, kicked and struck on several occasions, including with a walking stick.
"One of the men was holding a long kitchen knife, and one suggested his ear was cut off.
"He was threatened with having his knees blown and he saw one was holding a black handgun.
“Mr Clarke was in charge and giving the orders.”
Mr Chaudhry alleged Winskill watched the assault for a while and then went into another room.
During the attack, Mr Wainwright, 23, was thrown into a chair in the hallway and struck. Threats were made against him and his family.
Fortunately he managed to escape and ran out of the house.
He had entered the premises after being allowed in through electronic gates, but had to scramble over adjoining walls to flee, running to his van in a state of distress.
Winskill, of Croft Drive West, was arrested the day after the February 16 incident and Clarke, of Prenton Park Road, Prenton, was arrested on March 5.
Both are on trial at Liverpool Crown Court denying a single charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mr Chaudhry told the jury the victim ran a building company, Wainwright Construction, along with his brother Philip and the firm spent three months working at Winskill’s home. The bill came to £12,000.
During the job there was a dispute between Winskill and the victim’s brother David. They were business partners and after they fell out Winskill refused to pay the other brother's outstanding bill.
The case continues.