A builder who had his throat slashed at an Elvis night had beaten up one of his attackers years earlier, a court has heard.

Gino Taffurelli went to the Chessington Oak on Friday, September 13 to hear the imitation crooner’s hits.

Shortly after taking his first pint of beer to the smoking area outside he was attacked by two men who slit his throat with a stanley knife, Kingston Crown Court heard today.

Stephen Martin Shearwood, 50, of Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith, and John Clifford Thorp, 48, from Essex both deny joint charges of attempted murder, causing grievous bodily harm and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Giving evidence behind a screen stopping both defendants and the public from seeing his face, Mr Taffurrelli said: "I was on my first pint. We don't go out every Friday night but Elvis was playing there."

Describing the alleged attack he said: "There was a pint glass on the table. I picked that up to defend myself.

“I felt a punch to my neck but I did not realise. I did not realise how bad it was – it felt like a punch. It just happened so quickly. I did not expect it. My neck was bleeding and that.

"He lunged at me. He just leapt on me with a knife.

"There’s always been history between us. I knew he was not going to say hello - put it that way. I just knew something was going to happen."

Earlier the court heard that Mr Taffurelli and Mr Shearwood had known each other for years after growing up in Roehampton together and being part of the same group.

But the pair moved to different areas and only met again about 10 years later when Mr Shearwood was allegedly involved in a fight with Mr Taffurelli’s eldest son, Lee, in April 2011, the jury was told.

Two days later the Taffurelli family were involved in another fight with Mr Shearwood at the Fox pub in Upper Richmond Road in Putney, the court heard.

Mr Shearwood’s defence counsel, John Skinner said: “Mr Shearwood was seen by you three outside the Fox pub.

"The three of you chased him out. He was hit on the head with some kind of metal.

“He lost six or seven teeth as a result of the attack. He was knocked on the ground. He lost consciousness. You and your two sons attacked Mr Shearwood didn’t you?”

He added that Mr Shearwood received lacerations to his head from the fight.

The three Taffurrellis were all arrested after the brawl but declined to comment in police interviews, the court heard.

The court also heard about another argument between the group at a wake for Patrick Mahon at the Angel pub in Roehampton in September 2011 that ended with Mr Shearwood going to hospital.

They did not meet again for two years until the attack in Chessington.

Mr Skinner said: "This incident began because you glassed him. A struggle started involving a lot of people in the pub. And you were in the thick of it weren’t you?"

Mr Taffurelli said: "These blokes were attacking me – I’m not just going to stand there am I?"

Mr Taffurelli also told the jury he had never met Mr Thorp until the attack. The trial continues.