Northern Ireland

Claw hammer attack: Man jailed for 11 years

photo of hyland pacemaker Image copyright pacemaker
Image caption Aaron Hyland's victim is unlikely to fully recover from her injuries

A Belfast man who inflicted life changing injuries on a woman with a claw hammer has been jailed for eleven years.

Aaron Hyland, 22, from Katherine's Road in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The victim, now 25, wears a colostomy bag as a result of the injuries inflicted in October 2014.

The judge described the assault by Hyland as "sickening".

A charge of rape was allowed to remain on the books not to be proceeded with without the permission of the court or of the High Court.

The judge said the attack on the victim occurred after she and Hyland returned to her home after they'd both taken diazepam tablets and consumed large amounts of alcohol.

On 3 October 2014, the ambulance service was called to the victim's home by Hyland where they found her bleeding heavily.

Image caption Aaron Hyland (seen at a previous court hearing) was jailed for 11 years for his violent assault

The woman was rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital and such was the nature of her internal injuries that initially surgeons thought she would not survive.

Surgeons have stated that a full recovery is not anticipated.

Hyland was arrested at the scene and he told the police that he and his victim had engaged in consensual sexual activity.

He had 67 previous criminal convictions.

The judge told Hyland: "If you had not pleaded guilty but had been found guilty by a jury, I would have imposed a sentence of fourteen years imprisonment."