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Peterborough claw hammer attacker guilty of attempted murder

Ben Williams, 32, used a claw hammer to repeatedly hit the victim

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A man who left his victim with “catastrophic” head injuries has been found guilty of attempted murder. In the early hours of 2 April this year, a group forced their way into a house in Wake Road, Eastgate, Peterborough, and viciously attacked the occupant.

Ben Williams, 32, used a claw hammer to repeatedly hit the victim, who is in his 30s, around the head, causing an internal bleed on his brain.

A 999 call was made to police, which was played during a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

The jury heard how the victim rang for help, stating people had broken into his home and were attacking him before the line went quiet and all was heard was the sound of hammer strikes against the victim and abuse being hurled at him.

As police arrived, through an upstairs window they could see Tamara Matthews, 23, and a man attacking the victim while shouting abuse.

Entering the house, officers were met by Matthews and another woman – Isla Fitzgerald, 23 – coming down the stairs who indicated the victim had been “beaten to death” but they had nothing to do with it and were trying to help him.

Officers found the man laid on a bed with “catastrophic” head injuries, but Williams and another man, later found to be 23-year-old Leonard Davis, had fled through an upstairs window as the officers entered the house.

Ben Williams, 32, (left) used a claw hammer to repeatedly hit the victim and (centre) Tamara Matthews, guilty of GBH and (right) Leonard Davis, also guilty of GBH with intent.

Ben Williams, 32, (left) used a claw hammer to repeatedly hit the victim and (centre) Tamara Matthews, guilty of GBH and (right) Leonard Davis, also guilty of GBH with intent.

Both women were arrested at the scene and a subsequent investigation tracked Williams and Davis’ in Norwich, having got a train there from Peterborough.

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They were intercepted at Norwich train station and arrested by Norfolk police officers.

Following a 14-day trial at Cambridge Crown Court, yesterday afternoon (Thursday) a jury returned a guilty verdict of attempted murder for Williams, of no fixed address.

The jury found Matthews, of Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston, not guilty of attempted murder, but guilty of assault causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.

Davis, of Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston, denied attempted murder but admitted GBH with intent, which was accepted in court.

Fitzgerald, of Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston, was initially charged with both attempted murder and GBH with intent, however these were later dropped at court and no further action will be taken against her.

Detective Constable Lauren Easton, who investigated, said: “This was an extremely vicious attack believed to have been over an incident involving family members of Matthews’, which left the victim with a brain haemorrhage, bruising and swelling to his face and arms, as well as lacerations to his scalp.

“While not fully recovered, he is lucky to be alive and that he managed to call 999 and alert us to the intruders in his house.”

Sentencing will take place at Cambridge Crown Court on 2 February.

 

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