Cambridgeshire crowbar attack was 'revenge for smallholding theft'

Sam Vinden Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Sam Vinden thought the woman he attacked had been stealing from his smallholding

A man who inflicted a crowbar "revenge" attack on a woman has been jailed for 12 years.

Sam Vinden, 46, broke into the home in Farcet, Cambridgeshire, in the early hours of 29 August 2017, because he though the woman had been stealing from his smallholding.

The victim, who was in bed, suffered a broken leg and arm in the attack.

Vinden, of Haddon Way, Farcet, had admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and aggravated burglary.

Judge David Farrell QC, at Cambridge Crown Court, told Vinden that he went to the victim's home "armed with a crowbar to seek revenge for what you believed to be her stealing from your smallholding".

'Courage to admit'

Judge Farrell called the victim, in her 30s, a "vulnerable woman in her own home" and said the attack, which also left her with facial injuries, "resulted in her having to leave her home and relocate elsewhere".

Police said Vinden's blood was found at the scene and when he was arrested the next day he had cuts to his arm.

But he only pleaded guilty to the charges near the conclusion of his trial and Judge Farrell told him: "You didn't have the courage to admit this [offence] until the latest moment possible."

'Sustained and repeated'

Mitigating, David Lyons said Vinden was a "devout Christian, committed family man... well thought of by many people".

He said the offence was "out of character" and a "monumental loss of temper on this particular day".

But Judge Farrell said his action was pre-meditated and called it a "sustained and repeated assault".

Vinden was sentenced to 12 years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent, with sentences to run concurrently for aggravated burglary with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and causing damage to the victim's property.

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