Man back behind bars after hammer attack

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A MAN who battered a taxi driver over the head with a hammer two weeks after being freed from jail has been put back behind bars for almost seven years.

Sentencing 26-year-old Gareth Wilson, Judge Brian Lewis said that his “selfish, vicious behaviour” has impacted on the lives of his victim and his family but fortunately the injuries were not more serious.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that about on Sunday, April 28, last year taxi driver Mark Burgess was sent to a flat in Tamar Grove, Leigh.

He had been there before and recognised a woman waving from the window of the flat to him but instead of her coming out Wilson emerged carrying a young girl. He walked over to the driver’s open window and asked him to turn his engine off as it was frightening his daughter but the suspicious driver refused, said Gerry Baxter, prosecuting.

Wilson became agitated by his repeated refusal and when Mr Burgess tried to drive off Wilson “dropped” the child and punched him through the open window hitting him on the left side of his face.

There was a struggle in which a woman also became involved and at some point Wilson ran off and returned with a rubber-covered mallet with which he struck his victim several times while the women held him.

Mr Burgess managed to wrestle the hammer from him and when Wilson got into the car Mr Burgess grabbed the ignition keys. After further wrestling Wilson ran off and his victim drove off and when a safe distance away called the police.

At hospital it was found his injuries included a 4ins gash to the side of his head. In a victim impact statement Mr Burgess said that he was off work for a week suffering from pain to his head, neck and shoulders, his sleep was affected and his children were distressed.

He no longer works as long because he has become anxious and is less tolerant. He has also grown his hair and wears a hat because of the scarring, said Mr Baxter.

Wilson, of Glebe Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was jailed for six years 10 months.

Natalia Cornwall, defending, said that Wilson was on licence from a sentence for burglary and other offences at the time and has since been recalled to prison.

He was remorseful for his behaviour which occurred while he was intoxicated after sharing a bottle of vodka with his partner and her friend. His record shows that Wilson, who was brought up in care, is dishonest but not usually violent.