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NOT GUILTY: Hemel Hempstead man cleared of murder after attack

 Published on: 10th August 2021   |   By: Court Reporter   |   Category: Uncategorized

A husband who armed himself with a large kitchen knife to confront a DJ who had a 15-year affair with his wife was today (Tuesday, August 10) was freed from jail.

Gavin Hedges, 54, received a “metaphorical bombshell” on New Year’s Day when his partner Leanne Williams told him and Greg Nicholls’ partner what had been going on.

He was charged with attempted murder and remanded in custody after injuring the DJ’s hand in a struggle on his doorstep in Wootton Drive, Hemel Hempstead.

A jury at St Albans Crown Court cleared Mr Hedges, of Pescot Hill, Hemel Hempstead, of attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding with intent. 

He was convicted of a third, lesser alternative charge of recklessly wounding. They had been told he had pleaded guilty to the criminal damage of a Ring Doorbell and having the knife.

Footage played to the court showed that just after midnight on January 2, Mr Hedges approached Greg Nicholls’ front door, where he hacked his Ring Doorbell to the ground.

In a struggle that followed, the DJ suffered damage to the tendons on his left hand and was sent to a plastic surgeon to repair damage to the nerve on his left little finger. He also had injuries to his forearm and left ear and has been treated for PTSD.

The defendant was bitten on the nose and hit with a torch by the DJ, before a neighbour appeared and took away the knife.

The police were called and he was arrested a short distance away. His face was covered in blood.

Judge Michael Kay QC sentenced him to 15 months in jail but, because he has already served seven-and-a-half-months in custody, he will be immediately released.

The judge told him: “On the morning of January 1 this year, a metaphorical bombshell exploded in your home. Your partner of many years said she had been having an affair for many years.

“You did not know about that affair. It appears some sort of rejection of her led to her informing you. You were angry, emotional, shocked – all of which on human level you can understand.

“You went at midday to look for him, but could not find him.

“Your partner informed his partner and she left his home. Having found out where he lived – you remained at home and, quite remarkably, cooked a meal.

“After the meal you remained at home. One wonders if anything would have happened had it not been for further texts she showed to you. They were angry and abusive to you, your partner and your son.

“They indicated he was in the back garden and was threatening to come back on another day.

“It seems to me without that element of threat and provocation what was then to happen would not have happened.”

The judge said up to then Mr Hedges, who had no previous convictions, had led a “perfectly blameless life.”

“You have spent seven-and-a-half-months in custody through the height of the second lockdown and have caught COVID and are on medication for depression. You have had hanging over you a charge of attempted murder.

“I have thought carefully about the public interest in keeping you in custody any longer.”

The judge told him he had spent long enough inside. The defendant said: “Thank you, your honour.”

He made a restraining order banning him from going within 50 metres of Greg Nicholls’ address for five years.

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