A MAN has appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of a man in a Wiltshire village.

Dominic Lee is charged with attempted murder after an incident more than five-and-a-half years ago in Sutton Benger, near Chippenham.

The man, who was 50, suffered serious injuries to his face, head, neck and arms after he was attacked on June 22, 2016.

Winchester Crown Court heard today how the victim was only able to survive because he managed to seek refuge underneath a van, where the assailant was unable to get to him, according to prosecutor Charles Gabb.

Mr Gabb told the court how police had located Mr Lee, who had changed his name by deed poll from James Ward, in November 2021.

They located Lee, of Arthur Street, Crook, in Durham, where he was arrested and charged.

Appearing before Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on November 12, he had been remanded in custody pending today’s hearing.

After a hearing at Winchester Crown Court, Mr Lee, who is “seriously ill” according to his barrister Zarif Khan, was again remanded in custody pending the adjourned plea and trial preparation hearing, which will be held at the same court in the week of January 31.

A provisional trial date was set for April 19. It is estimated to last for five days.

Addressing the 50-year-old defendant, who was appearing via video link from HMP Doncaster, the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Angela Morris, said: “There are two further hearings that are going to take place in this matter. The first is on January 31 or it may be on one day that week.

“That is going to be the [plea and trial preparation hearing] date. That’ll be the day the charges will be put to you and you’ll be expected to plea guilty or not guilty.

“Mr Khan will have access to the case hopefully within the next 24 hours so they can look at all the papers so they can see you and give you advice.

“We have a trial date. April 19 may sound like a very long way away but it will come around an awful lot quicker than you think.”

No plea has been entered at this stage.