Cornwall wife hammer attacker has sentence cut

A Cornwall husband who attacked his wife with a hammer has had his prison sentence cut from indefinite to just over five years on appeal.

Peter Little, 56, from Hayle, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent on his Ghanaian-born wife while carrying out DIY work at her home.

He was given indefinite imprisonment for public protection last year.

The Criminal Appeal Court reduced his sentence on Wednesday, saying the Truro Crown Court sentence was "Draconian".

'Unstable mental state'

Little attacked his second wife, who is 28 years his junior, last June with a hammer while he was fixing a toilet.

He hit her 15 times in the head and also attempted to shock her with a stun-gun.

The appeal court heard that Little, of Trevassack Court, had previously suffered a nervous breakdown after the end of his 23-year-long first marriage in 1999, and was still in an "unstable mental state" when he carried out the attack.

At the hearing in London, Lord Justice Pitchford, Mr Justice MacKay and Mr Justice Davis, overturned the open-ended sentence imposed last September and replaced it with a jail term of five years and four months, with a four-year period of "extended licence" after his release.

Mr Justice MacKay said the original Crown Court judge had been justified in finding Little a "dangerous offender".

But he concluded: "IPP, apart from life imprisonment, is the most Draconian sentence available to the courts. In our view, the appropriate sentence here was an extended sentence."

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