Man jailed for 'gay' hammer attack
These are the horrific head injuries suffered by a gay man after his Catholic flatmate attacked him with a hammer while he slept.
Cross dressing Connor Huntley was 18 when he suffered the onslaught at the flat he shared with Joseph Williams in Margate, Kent, in May last year.
His injuries were described as "life-changing" and "little short of catastrophic" as 21-year-old Williams was sentenced to 14 years in prison at the Old Bailey for attempted murder.
Mr Huntley now suffers from epilepsy and his body movement has been affected, prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC told the court.
Senetencing, judge Jeremy Donne QC told Williams: "On May 28, 2013 you picked up a hammer, went into the bedroom of your sleeping flatmate and brought it down two times on his head.
"Not only did it fracture his skull but it was embedded in his brain.
"The injuries suffered by Connor Huntley were little short of catastrophic. They were life-changing.
"It is fortunate in the extreme for both him as for you that he did not die.
"That was only down to the skill of the medical personnel treating him but he will never be able to live an ordinary life.
"He will be never be able to enjoy all the things that young people enjoy doing.
"You have taken away a good part of his life."
Williams will serve his sentence in a high security hospital until he his deemed fit to leave after the court found that he had been suffering mental health issues at the time of the attack.
Afterwards the attacker told a 999 operator what he had done saying his mental health had "deteriorated'', the court heard.
Kent Police went to the flat in Athelstan Road, Cliftonville, Margate, and found Mr Huntley on a blood-splattered inflatable air bed still alive but with the claw hammer firmly embedded in his head.
The victim was taken to hospital where he was treated for a depressed skull fracture and a penetrating brain injury.
The court heard that Williams came from a Catholic background and a few months before had made disparaging remarks about gay men.
In contrast, Mr Huntley was openly gay and often wore women's clothes and make-up.
Just a week before the attack, the defendant had told his neighbour, a friend of Mr Huntley, that he did not know if he could live with him because he would end up hitting him.
Reacting to the verdict, Detective Inspector Richard Vickery said: "This was a nasty and seemingly unprovoked attack, with Williams striking Connor on the head whilst he was defenceless and asleep.
"It is only due to the skills of medical staff that Connor is alive today.
"Connor has suffered life-changing injuries and I hope that today's verdict will assist Connor and his family to move forward and concentrate on improving his quality of life, both physically and psychologically."
Mr Huntley's family said in a statement: "Whilst Connor is making slow but steady progress from this horrific ordeal, we feel he has been handed his own life sentence by this hideous act.
"No one deserves to be so viciously attacked in such an evil manner, regardless of race, age, gender or sexuality.
"Whilst we are grateful for all your kind and meaningful get-well wishes, as a family we would ask that you respect ours and Connor's privacy at this horrendous point in our lives and allow us the time and space to concentrate on Connor's physical and mental rehabilitation."