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Monday, 16 April, 2001, 17:20 GMT 18:20 UK
Call for ban on Samurai swords
Nigel Jones MP
Mr Jones's hand was injured in a sword attack last year
A Liberal Democrat MP who was slashed by a Samurai sword has called for curbs on the weapons after a second attack in his constituency.

Nigel Jones said he will write to Home Secretary Jack Straw after three men were taken to hospital following a Samurai sword attack outside a bar in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The incident happened just a few hundred yards from the constituency office where he was badly injured and his Lib Dem councillor Andrew Pennington was killed in a similar attack last year.

He said: "I did not want to make a fuss about Samurai swords when I was attacked, but to have two attacks with these weapons in one town in just over a year is just too horrible.

To have two attacks with these weapons in one town in just over a year is just too horrible

Nigel Jones MP

"Although these swords are supposed to be for ceremonial use, the one that was brought into my office last year could chop peoples' heads off."

Eyewitnesses said the latest attack happened after a man had an altercation with doormen outside the J's Vodka Bar in the town's Regent Street.

He returned 40 minutes later with the sword and started slashing out at doormen.

Bystanders were splattered with blood as the man repeatedly attacked the two bouncers with the 3ft blade at about 2140BST on Easter Sunday night.

Two doormen and a passer-by were taken to hospital. One had wounds to his arm and hand as he tried to defend himself and was still in Cheltenham General Hospital on Monday.

The two other suffered less serious injuries to their arms and hands and were released after treatment.

Cheltenham General Hospital
One of the victims was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital

The attacker tried to make his escape in a blue G-reg Rover 216 GSi but the way was sealed by the driver of a Saab who blocked the road in front of him.

The attacker was then surrounded by passers-by and staff from J's who kept him inside until the police came.

Police are now questioning a 21-year-old local man following the incident.

In February last year, Andrew Pennington died and Mr Jones was injured when they were attacked by 50-year-old former surveyor Robert Ashman.

Last month Ashman was sent to a secure hospital for an indefinite time after a jury found him mentally unfit to stand trial.

Mr Jones, who needed 60 stitches for a hand wound, said: "Maybe the time has come to look into imposing regulations on keeping swords.

"There are regulations on shotguns, possibly we could have something similar here."

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