A STAFFORD man accused of stabbing a former schoolboy adversary, 14 years after they had fallen out, has been acquitted by a jury.
Lee Alexander denied using a knife to attack Clinton Miles outside a house in Sash Street.
The defendant told the jury that Mr Miles and a friend followed him after they recognised each other in the street.
It was probably the first time they had met since they were boys, but as far as he was concerned it was all in the past and there was no "bad blood" between them.
However, he feared Mr Miles "might do something" because he was staring at him and giving him "dirty looks".
Outside a friend's house in Sash Street, Alexander said he was pushed to the ground by someone and then admitted having a scuffle with Mr Miles, but there was no knife involved and no cut to the complainant's elbow.
The jury heard that when police arrived on the scene Mr Miles told officers he had fallen over. He was later treated at hospital for a three inch cut to his elbow.
Alexander, aged 30, of Silkmore Lane, Stafford denied a charge of unlawful wounding. Jurors took just over an hour to find him not guilty.
The prosecution at Stafford crown court alleged Alexander launched a knife attack on 29 year old Mr Miles in Sash Street on 14 July last year, cutting him on the arm and the back. The background to the incident was an argument they had when they were schoolboys.
Giving evidence to the jury, however, Alexander said: "It was just kids' stuff. I can’t recall the last time I saw him - it might have been that time when we were children."
When their paths crossed on 14 July last year, Alexander said Mr Miles made him feel "uneasy" - muttering under his breath and giving him dirty looks. The defendant told him he didn't want any trouble and went on to his friend's house in Sash Street, but Mr Miles and his friend followed him.
At the door of the house, someone pushed him from behind and he fell over, starting the scuffle.