Grieving Wigan dad launched machete attack on teen he blamed for his son's drowning
Samson Price, 48, nearly succeeding in killing Patrick Brown in the "pre-planned" ambush outside a gym in Northwich, Cheshire in September 2021, Chester Crown Court was told.
Price had stalked Mr Brown with a tracker for days because he blamed him for the death of his son Samson Jnr, 18, who drowned in a pond in Wigan in October 2020.
He lay in wait for Mr Brown outside the PureGym and rained five to six blows on his body in broad daylight as horrified gym-users looked on.
Mr Brown, who was 20 at the time of the attack, was "millimetres from bleeding to death" but was saved by "sheer luck" and very prompt medical treatment after witnesses called the emergency services.
Father of two Price was angry that the police had failed to prosecute Brown, who was 19 at the time, and two others for murder after Samson's death.
They had been arrested on suspicion of murder after the friends had gone to a lake called Westwood Flash in Poolstock to take the hallucinogenic drug LSD.
The jury was told that Brown said they had been camping and Samson price Jnr had started behaving strangely and had gone missing, failing to return home to Goose Green. He was later found drowned.
The court heard no charges were brought and police told the Prices in March 2021 that Samson's death was an accident which left the family “very angry."
Prosecuting, Simon Mills said: "This was a pre-planned attack on Mr Brown as he came out of the gym where Price had been waiting with his weapon concealed on his person.
"He came very close to achieving his aim of killing Patrick Brown. He inflicted numerous blows to his head, face, back and arms. He may well have thought that he had done enough to kill Patrick Brown.
"He ran off and remained at large for three weeks before eventually handing himself in at a police station in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
"The defendant had a motive to carry out this deadly attack. He blames Patrick Broiwn for the death of his son and he was angry that the police did not prosecute him over it.
"The prosecution contends that this was a case of an eye for an eye."
Price accepts attacking Brown but denies intending to kill him. He has admitted grievous bodily harm with intent but has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. The plea is not accepted by the prosecution.
Mr Mills said that Price and his wife Rosanna had "made it clear to the police that they considered the people who had been arrested were responsible for their son's death."
He said that the "understandable grief and raw emotion of a grieving mother and father" were shown in messages the couple had exchanged in the weeks before the attack.
Price told his wife that he considered himself to have died after his son's death.
He wrote: "These feelings are hardest to deal with. Nothing will bring him back. It's the senselessness, the unfairness and the injustice of it."
His wife wrote: "We should be rowing and worrying about him going to all these festivals. I cannot get it into my head that he is not here and I will never hear his voice."
Price added: "We have nothing left to look forward to. I consider myself to have died with Samson and I honestly don't care what happens to me anymore."
His wife tried "to pull him round" by reminding him that their daughter Atlanta needed him.
Price wrote: "I am not going to harm myself. I will most likely try to harm others. I don't think I can handle the anniversary. I can't see me coping with that. Not that."