AN axe-wielding attacker nearly sliced off a man’s ear after a dispute about an escaped dog, a court heard.

Bolton Crown Court was told yesterday that Michael Parr, aged 46, raised an axe above his head and swung it at Michael Gaskell’s face, causing a 10cm gash from his left ear to his cheek.

Mr Gaskell needed 12 stitches after the attack.

Michael Blakey, prosecuting, said the alleged incident happened after Mr Gaskell’s Japanese akita dog escaped from his garden in Freshfield Avenue, Great Lever, at about 1.30pm on Saturday, April 14. The court heard that the defendant, who was walking his dog at the time, got into an argument with Mr Gaskell about whether dogs should be kept on leads.

A short time later, Mr Gaskell went to a neighbour’s home in Freshfield Avenue to borrow a cigarette and was approached by a group of men, including Parr, by the doorstep.

Parr then attacked Mr Gaskell with the axe, Mr Blakey said.

He was arrested two days later and told police it was nonsense because he was elsewhere walking his dog at the time.

The defendant and the alleged victim were said to know each other well as they both lived on the same road for a number of years.

Mr Gaskell said: “I could see Parr had something inside his coat pocket — then the axe came at me.

“He swung it at me, and I jumped out of the way and it hit me on the side of the face.”

He added: “There was blood pouring from my ear. I thought it had come off because it was hanging down like a big flap.”

Parr, of Holmes Street, Great Lever, denies wounding with intent and possessing an axe.

The trial continues.