‘Why is my attacker moving next door?’

Ivor Petrov
Ivor Petrov

A WIGAN assault victim has spoken of his horror at the prospect of his tormentor moving back in next door to him once his jail sentence ends.

Ivor Petrov has spoken out about the incident which saw neighbour Anthony Pickett pick up a knife and attempt to stab him in the neck.

On December 19 he was sent to jail for 22 weeks at Wigan Magistrates Court for the attack - a sentence which the victim feels is nowhere near long enough.

Mr Petrov, originally from Scotland, told the Wigan Evening Post of a number of issues which built up to the incident last September outside the pair’s homes on Closebrook Road, Worsley Hall.

He has described the attack and the build up to it as well as his concern over Pickett’s release.

“He is totally irresponsible with his dog,” Mr Petrov told the Evening Post.

“He allows his dog to wind my dog up in the back garden. I’ve had to ask him about it quite a few times and I’ve reported it to the council but they never seem to be interested.

“It was always a case of how he would be day by day.

“It was on September 2 when I shouted to him to get his dog to calm down.

“He said ‘give me a second’, he turned and went back into his house and put his dog in and then then, according to his own statement, picked up a knife and put it in his back pocket for back-up.

“He came out and didn’t even speak to me and when he got close to me he tried to drive the knife into my neck. It could have killed me.”

Mr Petrov told how in trying to grab the knife he cut his hand before scarpering inside to phone the police.

He said: “They came up and seemed to be treating it very seriously and took him away.

“I didn’t expect to see him again for a while but to my horror the next day he was in the street boasting to neighbours that he had been done with common assault. He was just expecting a slap on the wrist.

“It took the police two weeks to tell me he had been charged with assault.”

Pickett didn’t get away with his crime though and was sent to jail just before Christmas for common assault.

However, that wasn’t the end to Mr Petrov’s nightmare with it looking increasingly likely that he will just move back in next door upon his release.

He believes that the sentence sends out totally the wrong message and is considering moving back to Scotland as a result.

“One of the things that bothers me more than anything is he will be out in a few weeks and living next door to me,” said the 51-year-old.

“That sounds to me like it’s ok to start taking weapons out on each other and like it’s being treated like a normal punch up or even less than that.

“I’m not a spring chicken any more. I really don’t want him living next to me, I think it’s an absolute disgrace that they’re keeping this house open for him.

“I’m thinking of moving back to Scotland, I’m finding it all very difficult.”

Wigan and Leigh housing bosses say they are working to find a solution in which everybody is safe once Pickett finishes his sentence.

They are in contact with Mr Petrov and are aware of his concerns.