A WORKMAN described his life or death fight with a knifeman who had slashed his friend in the neck on their doorstep.

Liam Roberts, 32, and Joshua Catterall, 17, were staying in St Leonards when they were attacked at knifepoint, a court heard.

Neighbours in St Margaret’s Road heard how there was an argument between the men and Ian Bryan at a block of flats there.

Bryan is accused of attempted murder.

Alan Gardner, prosecuting, told jurors at Brighton Crown Court that the 58-year-old had slashed Mr Catterall across the throat, nearly killing him, before lunging at Mr Roberts.

Mr Roberts said he and Mr Catterall, from Bolton, were working in Bexhill as contractors replacing a lift at a care home during the coronavirus lockdown on April 22.

Mr Gardner suggested that one possible motive for the attack was that Bryan believed the men were “on holiday” as the basement flat was a holiday let.

Bryan was “seething” and showed “murderous intent” during the attack, Mr Gardner said.

He claimed the two workmates were acting like “louts” and armed himself with a knife to confront the men, who were staying downstairs.

In court, Mr Roberts denied there had been any abuse directed towards

Bryan earlier on during the day.

He said he had “no idea” who would be at the door as Mr Catterall went to answer it. Mr Roberts said: “As he (Joshua) answered the door, I saw his left hand go up and this guy’s hand go up and across his (Joshua’s) face. There was a shining light, like metal. It was dark but I remember the knife going up.

“Josh leant over and turned around and said ‘he has slashed me’.

“There was blood everywhere then.

“The door opens outward so we had lost control of the door and the guy was coming at me.

“I kept punching him and kneeing him and trying to get him on the floor, arms were going everywhere.

“If I had pushed him, he would have kept coming back at me. My adrenaline was going that much. I punched him everywhere I could.

“I used a lot of force, otherwise he would have killed us. It was either that or get killed, I had to, to save my own life.”

Richard Body, defending, asked if Mr Roberts had “brandished” a chair earlier in the day, or if either he or Mr Catterall had banged on Bryan’s windows.

“No,” Mr Roberts replied.

Bryan, formerly of St Margaret’s Road, St Leonards, denies two charges of attempted murder.

The jury is expected to retire to consider a verdict on Monday.