Man jailed for hammer attack - Luton

20/08/2014

A prisoner, who had been released on licence, was sentenced to 11 more years today, Wednesday, 20 August 2014, for a hammer attack outside his former partner's Luton flat.

Jason Witty, aged 36,  lay in wait for Gary Healey who was visiting his child at Charlene Stroud's 11th floor home in Wauluds Bank Drive, Luton. When he saw Mr Healey approach the flat, at 7pm at night, he emerged from a fire exit, did not utter a word, and produced a silver, 12 to 16 inch long claw hammer. He struck Mr Healey on the forehead and back of the head. He produced a large handled knife, which he put it to the right side of the victim's face. Luton Crown Court was told.

Charlene Stroud, who heard the noise, opened the door and pulled Mr Healey inside. Witty tried to force his way into the flat, but was pushed out by Ms Stroud and Mr Healey. Mr Healey needed 5 stitches to his forehead and 4 stitches to the back of his head. Witty was arrested nearby and made no comment to police questions, but he smirked when he was told of the injuries the victim had suffered, said prosecutor Neil King.

Witty of Five Springs, Marsh Farm, Luton  pleaded guilty to wounding with intent on 13 March this year. He also admitted trying to smuggle prohibited items into Bedford prison.  He had 28 convictions for 105 offences.

Mr King said at the time of the wounding Witty should have been returned to Bedford prison because he had broken the terms of a licence for a sentence passed when had bitten an off duty police officer, who had tackled him after he had stolen champagne from Sainsbury's in Luton.

On 03 December last year, whilst serving that sentence in Bedford prison, an associate threw a black sock containing cocaine, heroin, cannabis, a mobile phone and a SIM over the prison wall. It had fish hooks attached to the outside and Witty threw a white string bag out of the window of E block in an attempt to pull the sock in. It was spotted by a prison officer and Witty was arrested.

Patrick Harte, defending, said Witty had a troubled upbringing and had "significant problems with anger management."

Judge Richard Foster said Witty was a dangerous offender and passed an extended sentence, which means when he is released from jail he could be recalled for a further five years. He told him: "You have an appalling criminal record. It was a sustained assault, mercifully the injuries were not more serious. You targeted that individual who was helpless."

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