Louth woman praised after protecting victim in meat cleaver attack


A Louth woman who stepped in to protect a man being slashed at in the street with a meat cleaver has been praised by a judge and awarded £250 out of public funds for her bravery.

On Friday (October 31), Judge Michael Heath said that Nicola Hingston showed a “commendable degree of courage” when she stepped between Jonathon Thornley and his intended victim during the incident in Louth.

Lincoln Crown Court was told that Thornley had already slashed at the other man with the weapon and again brandished the meat cleaver at him.

Ms Hingston came across the incident when she was dropped off by taxi near to Jubilee Crescent in the town on her way to visit her mother.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Thornley again swung the meat cleaver at the man before Ms Hingston stepped between them.

Mr Scott said “She pushed the defendant in the chest and said to the other man to go. Thornley swung the meat cleaver at her but it missed.” Moments later, Thornley fled from the scene.

The court that the incident, which stemmed from a dispute over the sale of a second-hand freezer, was witnessed by a number of young children.

Thornley,32, of Jubilee Crescent, Louth, admitted offences of affray and possessing an offensive weapon as a result of the incident on August 4. He was jailed for two and a half years.

Judge Heath also imposed an indefinite restraining order banning Thornley from contacting both Ms Hingston and her mother.

Jeremy Janes, defending, said Thornley had shown remorse by pleading guilty.

He described his client as a gentle giant and said he is a loving father to his children.