A VIOLENT drug dealer who used a knife to stab the letter Z into a man's head in a vicious attack in Leigh has lost his appeal against conviction.

Victim Declan Prescott was blamed by Jake Muldoon for the loss of a car and drugs which were seized by police.

Bolton Crown Court heard how, after being threatened, Mr Prescott was paying back the £5,000 the dealer claimed he owed for the loss.

And on November 21, 2019 Prescott met with Muldoon, also known as "Scouse Joe" in Bow Road, Leigh, to hand over another instalment of £200.

The pair were sitting in a Mondeo, driven by 22-year-old Muldoon, who then suddenly pulled a flick-type knife from his jacket pocket and stabbed Prescott in the head.

Mr Prescott, bleeding heavily, made his way to Leigh Infirmary. But the court heard that, on the journey he received a call from Muldoon who told him he still worked for him.

"The victim responded that he would not be doing anything for him after what just happened," states a Court of Appeal judgement.

The attack was reported to police and Mr Prescott and his then partner, Stacey Round, gave statements. Muldoon had smashed Ms Round's windows and called her, bragging about what he had done to Mr Prescott and threatening to burn her home down.

The following month Mr Prescott and Ms Round both picked out Muldoon in a video identification parade.

When Muldoon, of Lowerson Crescent, Liverpool, went on trial at Bolton Crown Court accused of causing grievous bodily harm, possessing a knife and damaging property, both Mr Prescott and Ms Round were called as witnesses.

They did not contradict the previous statements they gave to police but stayed silent and declined to answer when questioned in court.

The judge, Recorder Geoffrey Payne, allowed their police statements to go before the jury as hearsay evidence and Muldoon was found guilty and jailed for nine years.

He appealed his conviction but, in a written judgement, the Court of Appeal has ruled that Recorder Payne was correct to allow the evidence and so the appeal was rejected.