A man whose throat was cut with a machete by his housemate fled to a nearby funeral undertakers for help.

The victim’s attacker, Christopher Gunning, a martial arts instructor, was jailed for 12 years on Friday after being found guilty of attempted murder.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Gunning and victim, Christopher Heywood shared a house in Hothfield Road, Wallasey and they had been friends for 15 years.

But at lunchtime on September 21 last year the two men had a heated argument over the use of the spare bedroom.

They pushed and shoved each other and 38-year-old Gunning told Mr Heywood to leave, but he refused and went to his room.

Graham Pickavance, prosecuting, said Gunning grabbed a meat cleaver from under his bed, which he kept after being attacked in 2004 while he was a drug dealer. He went into his friend’s room and struck him to the back of the head.

After slashing him nine times, he smashed a glass cannabis bong over his head and the victim ran into the street covered in blood screaming for help while Gunning followed him, shouting “come back and I’ll kill you”.

Mr Heywood knocked for help at the Co-Operative Funeral Home in Liscard Road, where staff gave him first aid and called an ambulance.

He was taken to hospital and treated for a gaping wound to his left forearm, plus cuts to his throat, forehead, head, right thigh and back.

The judge, Mr Justice Robin Spencer told Gunning, He said: “He was begging you to stop. He said ‘you’re going to kill me’.

You replied ‘kill you? I’ll f***ing kill you.

“You lifted his head up by the hair with your left hand and with your right hand, drew the cleaver across his exposed throat.

“Mercifully the pressure you used was not sufficient to cut through the delicate and vital structures of the neck, but you very easily could have killed him.”

The court heard that police went to the house after the attack and found and Gunning arrived and said he was handing himself in.

Officers recovered the bloodstained meat cleaver in the back garden.

He told police: “I’ve hurt my housemate quite viciously haven’t I? I don’t have much of an excuse” and described himself as “the calmest guy in the world.”

Lauren Soertsz, defending, said it had been a “spontaneous” attack by Gunning, who felt he had been “pushed and pushed” by his friend.

She said Gunning, who had admitted a lesser charge of wounding with intent, had received counselling in prison as days before the incident, a friend committed suicide, leaving him feeling “fragile”.

Speaking after the sentencing detective constable Peter Williams said: “This was a vicious attack which caused serious life-changing injuries to the victim, fortunately, no-one died as the result of the assault. 

“We are pleased that this dangerous man has been removed from the community.

"Merseyside Police take all incidents of serious violent crime, especially when they involve knives and will pursue and prosecute those individuals involved in such incidents.”