Widow 'sick' to hear husband's knife attacker committed Westminster atrocity

Widow 'sick' to hear husband's knife attacker committed Westminster atrocity

The widow of a man slashed in the face by Khalid Masood told how she felt "sick" after hearing he went on to commit the atrocity in Westminster.

Masood was jailed for two years over the 2000 attack on Piers Mott in the car park of the Crown and Thistle in Northiam, near Rye, East Sussex, according to local reports.

Mr Mott's widow, Heather Mott, said Masood appeared to come out of jail "even worse" after leaving her husband with a scar that stretched across his face from above his eye.

Speaking at her home, she spoke of her shock at learning Massood, who then used the name Adrian Elms, was responsible for the Westminster attack.

She said: "It's quite shocking. It puts a chill down your spine. It absolutely makes you feel sick. It makes you feel sick when you see the interviews on the television.

"And it makes you feel even sicker when you think, God, that was the guy who lived here. What a pity they didn't realise he was a nutter."

Masood "left Piers Mott with a three-inch gash on his left cheek" requiring 20 stitches after an altercation with "racial overtones" on July 16, the Brighton Argus reported at the time.

Hove Crown Court heard how, after a row inside the pub where Elms had drunk four pints of beer, he went out and damaged Mr Mott's car with the knife, before turning on the vehicle's owner after he came outside.

Elms used a knife he had been using while decorating his daughter's room at the family home, and admitted charges of unlawful wounding and criminal damage, the Brighton Argus reported.

It quoted defence barrister Alexander Taylor-Camara as saying: "When the defendant moved to the area it was to try and give his family and himself a better and more tranquil way of life.

"He particularly chose an area such as this village because of the lifestyle and people there."

Speaking of Masood, Mrs Mott, whose husband had an export company and died in April 2008, said: "He was obviously prone to being radicalised. He has come out even worse.

"I wouldn't know what he looked like but he drank in local pubs and obviously drank too much. I'm sure it was alcohol-fuelled."

She said her husband was not left with any long-lasting impact from the attack apart from the lengthy scar, adding: "It was a proper scar."

Adrian Baker, 51, who has lived in Northiam for 25 years, said Elms was known as a "troubled" character but that he was shocked by his involvement in the Westminster attack.

He said: "I'm gobsmacked. He didn't appear to be very religious. He would go into the local pubs.

"I do remember a fracas involving a guy called Piers Mott. This was a long time ago. I remember Elms being a bit of a troubled character, which is probably the best way to describe him.

"He got into a bit of trouble. Piers was a really nice guy, an older chap who didn't deserve to get stabbed.

"I wasn't in the pub at the time but heard about it. Adrian Elms didn't have a very good reputation."

The Crown and Thistle pub later changed hands and was renamed the Muddy Duck but it closed about two years ago, according to locals.

Jim Boot, 50, who has lived in Northiam for the past 19 years, said the attack on Mr Mott was known about in the quiet picturesque village.

He said: "I remember hearing about the attack in the pub which at the time had a bit of a reputation for drugs. People move out here for a quiet life but some have a history."

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