A man has been cleared of attempted murder after a bizarre stabbing involving hedge cutters at a sheltered and supported housing scheme.
Gareth Healey, previously of Meadowside, Angmering, was accused of attempting to kill a 47-year-old man from Rustington with a kitchen knife in September last year.
The victim spent more than a week in intensive care after Mr Healey stabbed him.
But now the 25-year-old has been cleared of attempted murder.
After the case Mr Healey told The Argus he admitted to jurors at Brighton Crown Court that he stabbed the man, but said claimed he acted in self-defence after he was threatened with hedge cutters.
Mr Healey was also taken to hospital for treatment following the incident in Oakhurst Gardens, Rustington, near Littlehampton.
His injuries were less severe than the victim’s.
Speaking yesterday Mr Healey, recovering with his family in Cornwall, recounted his ordeal.
He said: “We were having a drink together and got into an argument.
“It moved upstairs and kicked off again.
“He turned towards me with hedge-cutters and I reacted and picked up a kitchen knife.”
Mr Healey, who was remanded in custody after the incident before his trial came before court and spent his 25th birthday in the dock, said: “I am sorry for what happened. I have been in prison for six months.
“The jury is not allowed to go on feelings – they have to go on facts – so I was very relieved they believed me.
“I have never been involved in anything like this before and I thought it would be so easy for the court to find me guilty.”
He added: “I was so happy to get my freedom back."