THREE men have admitted a stabbing attack in an Oxford park where the victim, who was wielding a bicycle chain, was ‘encircled’ by a gang.

Francis Nala-Hartley, 23, of Edgecombe Road, Oxford, Myron Stapleton, 28, of Balfour Road, Oxford, and Waqas Khan, 25, of Furlong Close, Oxford, were all set to stand trial for one count of wounding with intent.

But, in a last minute change of heart and with a panel of jurors waiting to be selected, the three men pleaded guilty to a lesser count of unlawful wounding yesterday.

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A 16-year-old who cannot be named for legal reasons was cleared after prosecutors offered no evidence.

At the hearing at Oxford Crown Court it was revealed that the single victim was ‘encircled’ by the men near to Blackbird Leys park on September 4.

The victim – a man in his 30s – was wielding a bicycle chain, the court heard, and was then attacked by a group of men.

Oxford Mail:

Pegasus Road runs around the southern perimeter of Blackbird Leys Park.

At the time of the offence residents described seeing a heavy police presence in the area as well as helicopters and ambulances in Pegasus Road.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said officers were called at about 5.20pm by the ambulance service following reports of an assault and that a 31-year-old was later treated in hospital before he was discharged.

Nala-Hartley, Stapleton and Khan were involved in the attack at the park, prosecutor said, in which Stapleton wielded a knife.

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The court went on to hear that the wounds had not led to any ‘long-standing effect’ on the victim.

After the guilty pleas had been entered defence barristers representing the three men asked the court to adjourn the case for sentencing until next week.

All three will be sentenced at the same court on March 15 and were remanded in custody in the meantime.