A CRIMINAL who armed himself with an axe and a flick-knife so he could attack a couple at their Workington home has been convicted by a jury.

Tony Joynes, 41, who admitted having a long criminal history and being addicted to cocaine, claimed he acted in self-defence during violence outside the couple's home in Coniston Drive Workington in August last year.

But a Carlisle Crown Court jury rejected his claim.

They convicted him of intentionally causing Lee Iceton grievous bodily harm, and deliberately wounding Mr Iceton's partner Colleen McCrickard.

The jury - consisting of seven women and four men - returned unanimous guilty verdicts.

The week-long trial had heard detailed descriptions of the August 21 attack carried out by Joynes, which left his victims with multiple stab wounds.

With his face hidden by a snood, Joynes had arrived at their home, knocking on the patio door shortly after midnight.

When Mr Iceton opened the door, Joynes went for him with the axe, the court heard.

During the violent struggle that followed, Mr Iceton suffered a badly broken ankle, while his partner Miss McCrickard managed to wrestle Joynes to the ground and pull off his snood, exposing his face.

In his evidence, the defendant claimed he was attacked first.

He told the jury he was being pursued by Liverpool drugs barons.

That was why he had hidden his face, he claimed.

Explaining why he had gone to Mr Iceton's home that night, he said that he went there to buy drugs - though Mr Iceton insisted he had nothing to do with illegal drugs or selling them.

Joynes told the court: “I was chased three days before by lads with samurai swords and machetes; and that’s how I cut my hands, jumping over a barbed wire fence.”

Liverpool drug “firms” were competing for business in Workington, he said.

Prosecuting barrister Geoffrey Lowe told the court that Joynes was a man who was prone to using violence.

The barrister citied a previous burglary the defendant had served time in jail for.

During that raid, he had tied up an elderly man and then stabbed him with a screwdriver, before attacking the man's wife. He claimed he acted that way because of the drugs he had taken.

Asked why the Liverpool drug dealers had a problem with him, he said: “I robbed them, the Scousers.” He said this meant he failed to pay for drugs. “I took their money and drugs off them.”

Joynes, who showed no emotion as the verdicts were announced, will be sentenced on February 28.

Judge Nicholas Barker asked the Probation Service to prepare a background report on him to assess whether he poses a risk to the public. In the meantime, he has been remanded in custody.