Two jailed for ten years after South Shields slash attack

A slash attack victim was left with his ear "hanging off" after he was tied up and beaten in his own home.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 3:04 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:05 am
Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith were jailed for ten years at Newcastle Crown Court

Jordan Hopkins had been about to go to bed at his home in, South Shields when attackers Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith turned up late one night and subjected him to sickening violence for no reason.

During the shocking ordeal at the hands of people he thought were his friends, the 23-year-old was bound with cables, slashed with a craf knife, kicked, punched, taunted, humiliated, headbutted and had alcohol poured in his eyes.

By the end of his ordeal, Mr Hopkins, who had been in and out of consciousness during the violent onslaught, had cuts and bruises and swellings across his face and body, a bite mark to his arm and had a painful break to his collarbone.

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He spent three days in hospital after the attack.

He said in a victim statement: "My right ear as sliced and cut so it was hanging off and had to be glued. I am now forever looking over my shoulder. I have flashbacks of the assault when I go to bed, nightmares of the ordeal and I wake up in a cold sweat

"The people that attacked me were supposed to be my friends. Now, I find it hard to trust anyone."

The court heard Mr Hopkins' physical and mental health have suffered because of the attack and he has since moved out of his home where it happened.

Sweet, 19, of Whitehead Street, South Shields, and Snaith, 23, also of Whitehead Street, both pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

At Newcastle Crown Court Judge Penny Moreland sentenced each of them to ten years each behind bars.

The judge told them: "This was a sustained assault by the two of you on him and you used a weapon to cause him injury.

"There are a number of aggravating factors. You were both under the influence of drink or drugs. There were two of you in his flat, attacking him together. This occurred in the complainant's own home and it included gratuitous degradation by squirting and drenching him with drink."

The court heard the attack happened on August 6 when Mr Hopkins had been out with friends and was about to go to bed when his attackers, who he had got along with as pals in the past, turned up carrying three litres of cider.

The court heard Mr Hopkins could tell the pair were under the influence of something and were acting "out of character" and the violence started after Snaith locked the front door and put the key in his pocket.

The court heard Mr Hopkins was asked if he "had ever been in a hostage situation before" before Snaith brought out a blade and slashed him across the left eye.

Prosecutor Mark Guiliani told the court: "The knife was then passed to Sweet."

The court heard Sweet started to carve a pattern on the victim's face and told him "you will remember me" before he used the blade to slash his cheek.

Mr Guiliani added: "He sai, although he could feel the cuts, he couldn't feel any pain. He attributes this to shock."

The court heard the victim was untied and dragged into the bathroom, subjected to further beating, which caused his lips to "burst open" and then tied up again in the living room.

The victim said Sweet had a "psycho, insane" look with his "eyes bulging" during the violence.

Mr Guiliani added: "Liquid from a bottle was squirted into his eyes, which caused him to clench his eyes. He thought it may have been vodka and coke, the liquid was dark in colour.

"Then, one of the bottles of Frosty Jacks was poured over his head."

The court heard the victim drifted in an out of consciousness and was taken to a different flat, where the emergency services were called.

John Wilkinson, defending Snaith, who has convictions for disorderly behaviour but no violence, said: "He had consumed drink and a large amount of drugs on the day were are concerned with, which perhaps explains, though does not excuse, the bizarre behaviour he entered in to with his co-accused."

Paul Rooney, defending Sweet, who has no previous convictions, said: "He says he is disgusted with himself. He cannot understand why he did what he did and he wishes to apologise to him."