Student 'left for dead' after claw hammer attack in Wolverhampton
A college student sank a claw hammer into the skull of a love rival 'with all his force' before running off and leaving him for dead in a city centre underpass, a court heard.
The victim survived but suffered paralysis of his left side and was unable to walk or talk for a while. He spent two months in hospital and still suffers a speech impairment.
Before the attack in the Bilston Street subway in Wolverhampton last summer, the 17-year-old defendant was heard to shout 'I'm going to kill him', it is alleged.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had split from his girlfriend some time before on learning she had cheated on him, Mr Michael Burrows, QC, told Birmingham Crown Court.
But on July 12 his ex-partner had bombarded him with calls, challenging him to a fight and urging him to meet her in the city centre.
He was at a party at a friend's flat in St George's Parade at the time and ignored most of the calls, the jury heard.
In the early evening he left with a college friend to meet two more party guests at the railway station and bring them back to the apartment but he returned alone, 'red in the face, breathless and upset', said Mr Burrows.
Witnesses spoke of him going straight to his duffle bag and taking out a claw hammer, shouting "He's in town, there's a gang of them, and I'm going to kill him," referring to the person who had slept with his girlfriend.
Guests tried to calm him down and prevent him from leaving the flat but he warned if they did not let him go he would jump off the balcony, said the prosecutor.
Two college friends followed the defendant, who was stripped to the waist and wearing shorts, through the city centre to the underpass where his ex-girlfriend confronted him, punching him in the face three times, but he pushed her aside, the court heard.
Another of his friends, already at the scene, attacked the object of his anger before the defendant did, knocking him against some metal railings.
The victim then took off his T-shirt and was heard to say 'no tools', meaning weapons, before being struck from behind with the claw hammer.
One witness, a fellow student, told the jury he heard the victim's skull 'crack' as the forked end of the hammer hit its target and the casualty instantly dropped to the ground. He said his friend used 'all of his force' in the strike.
The attacker fled back to the flat with his two pals, thinking he had killed his rival.
One witness told the jury: "He was crying, apologising to me. He said: 'I'm not a bad person, I didn't mean to kill him'."
The defendant, from Wolverhampton, has pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent and having an offensive weapon in a public place but denies attempted murder.
The trial continues.
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