Two jailed for 'merciless' hammer attack on teenager

Two men have been jailed for a "merciless" hammer attack in Leicester which left a teenager brain damaged.

Ben Maycock, 17, was struck at least twice by 28-year-old Daniel Hammonds after "aggressive banter" escalated, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Jeremy Barnett, 23, admitted affray for his part in the Uppingham Road assault.

Hammonds was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection and must serve at least six years. Barnett was sentenced to 20 months.

The court was told how Hammonds, of no fixed abode, and Barnett, of the city's Duxbury Road, ran home to get the claw hammer after their confrontation with the victim spiralled out of control.

One witness described how Hammonds swung the hammer at his victim's head as if he was "throwing a bowling ball" during the attack on 3 March.

Image caption The attack took place after "banter" escalated into violence

Six months later, Mr Maycock still needs hospital care. He struggles to speak and walk, and has been left with a grossly misshapen head.

Judge Ebrahim Mooncey: "As is usually the case, what starts out as aggressive banter quickly escalates to outrageous violence.

"Here there were disastrous consequences, and the chase was aggressive. Hammonds wields the hammer mercilessly at least twice on Ben's head. The consequences are devastating.

"Ben Maycock was a young, popular 17-year-old. He had hopes of joining the Army - his whole life's plans and ambitions have been wiped away.

"He now, in effect, lives in a hospital. His skull has completely lost its shape and he's unable to even differentiate colours. The sentence I can pass will never give Ben Maycock and his family back the life that they once knew."

Hammonds admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm and a charge of carrying an offensive weapon.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Mr Maycock's mother Karen said she hoped the 28-year-old "gets what's owed to him and doesn't get out for a very long time".

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