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Victim's skull fractured with a hammer after 'unpleasant' Facebook comments
A VICIOUS hammer attack on a teenage boy over unpleasant Facebook comments only ended when the weapon got stuck in his head.
The horror incident in a Wallasey street left the 17-year-old victim suffering from a depressed skull fracture and landed him in hospital but fortunately he has recovered from his injuries.
His attackers, Samuel Case, who wielded the claw hammer, and Daniel Green, both 18, were today both put behind bars.
Green, of Greenwood Lane, Egremont, Wallasey, who instigated the incident and joined in the attack repeatedly kicking victim Santino Veste as he lay on the ground, was sentenced to six years' detention.
Liverpool Crown Court that he had arranged to meet Mr Veste for a "straightener" after derogatory remarks on Facebook about Veste's former girlfriend. At the time Green was in the company of the girl's sister.
Case, of Seabank Road, Wallasey, was sentenced to five years detention.
They had both pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent but Case was given credit for admitting the offence at an early stage of proceedings.
Sentencing them Judge Thomas Teague, QC, said, "It was in some ways a horrific attack which could have had fatal consequences.
Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said that the on the evening of April 9 this year Mr Veste was at home in Wallasey with a friend, Michael Russell.
He saw disparaging remarks on Facebook about his former girlfriend and added some mocking comments about her on the site.
Green saw the comments and became irritated and made threats towards Mr Veste and during an exchange on the social media site said he would come round to his house.
He signed off by saying, "I'm on my way, be ready lad, you are going to get hurt."
About 9.50 pm Mr Veste and Mr Russell went outside and saw a group of youths, including the defendants, approaching and so the two teenagers walked to nearby Strathcona Road but the group followed.
"Samuel Case ran ahead of the group and was the first to confront Mr Veste and tried to get him in a headlock. Mr Veste realised Samuel Case had a hammer in his right hand and tried to run away," said Mr Duncan.
"He suddenly felt a severe pain in the back of his head and presumed he had been struck with the hammer and fell to the ground. He brought his arms up to protect his head an face and saw Daniel Green walk up to him and join in the attack by kicking."
He suffered repeated kicks but was not sure which other members of the group were to blame. His friend saw at least three people attacking him and Samuel Case using the hammer, said Mr Duncan.
A young woman in the group shouted, "He's had enough" and the attackers ran off.
Case later told police said he had initially swung the hammer and missed but Mr Veste fell to the ground. While the victim lay there he struck him on the legs about three times, his back once and his head twice.
"On the last of these blows the hammer stuck in Mr Veste's head and as it would not come out he panicked and ran off. At the time Mr Veste was being kicked by others."
The court heard that Green had not realised Case had a hammer and had thought it was a stick until Case shouted that the weapon was stuck in Mr Veste's head. He accepted kicking Mr Veste on his back and legs three or four times.
The victim managed to walk home despite feeling dizzy and was taken to hospital where it was found he had suffered a depressed skull fracture, soft tissue swelling, bruising to his body and had two small lacerations to his head.
He was transferred to Walton Neurological Centre where he was detained for 24 hours for observation before being allowed home.
When interviewed Case said he had been drinking strong lager and vodka with Green and had agreed to go along with Green to support him.
He picked up a hammer from the garden as he left intending to smash windows and assault the victim "but not in a major way which would put him in hospital." He admitted he had lost his temper.
Green told officers that after the Facebook exchange he had "hyped up for a fight". After Mr Veste went to the floor he joined in kicking him and had not seen the hammer until Case said it was stuck.
Paul Wood, defending, said that Green, who had previously received a police warning for attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent involving a pool cue, admitted kicking the victim three times.
Green, who had "not had the easiest of childhoods" and left school at 16 without any qualifications, did the sensible thing and walked away when he realised a hammer was being used. "He accepts his behaviour was deplorable."
Neil Howard, defending Case said that he had become embroiled in a dispute that he had little knowledge of because of bravado and alcohol. "He picked up the hammer on impulse and clearly acted in an immature manner. He has brought shame and disgrace on himself and his family."
He had been due to start an apprenticeship with his uncle but had not now thrown it all away. He suffers from epilepsy and has had several attacks while on remand in custody, added Mr Howard.