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Thugs Tony Gibson and Matthew Rogers jailed after hammer attack on victim Michael Lewington at Ashford flat

By Paul Hooper

Two Ashford men have been jailed for a total of 22 years today for a hammer attack on their victim.

Tony Gibson, 32 and pal Matthew Rogers, 30 lured their victim to an Ashford flat and attacked him.

Now a judge at Canterbury Crown Court has ruled that Gibson, of Bond Road, Ashford poses a danger to the public.

Matthew Rogers and Tony Gibson were both jailed for the hammer attack

He was given a 12-year jail sentence and Judge Heather Norton added another two years on licence.

He will have to serve two-thirds of the sentence before he can even be considered for parole.

She told him that there were two sides to him – a hard-working man...”but you also have a dangerous side”.

Rogers, of Richard Hillary Close, Willesborough was jailed for 10 years.

Both men had denied wounding their victim with intent in February last year but were convicted by a jury.

The court heard how the victim Michael Lewington was out with a friend when he saw Gibson.

Gibson invited him to a party at a flat in High Street where Rogers was staying at the time.

But when he walked into the flat he was confronted by a group of men – and Gibson immediately attacked him with a mallet.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

The court heard how he was struck in the face and after falling to the ground was kicked and punched by Rogers and other men who have not been identified.

Mr Lewington escaped with a cut to his head and injuries to his lips which required stitches.

Three years ago Gibson bit off a man's ear after they clashed at a pub and was jailed for three years.

After sinking his teeth into Gavin Austin, Gibson spat out the flesh and told him: "There's your ear, mate."

Maidstone Crown Court was told in 2011 how the victim was at the William Harvey Inn at Church Road, Willesborough, Ashford, on April 23 2010 with his girlfriend.

While sitting out in the garden, he saw some men together and recognised 29-year-old Gibson.

Bridget Todd, prosecuting, said while Mr Austin was in the toilets, father-of-two Gibson barged past him.

Back in the garden, Mr Austin felt Gibson was smirking at him and went over to confront him. They had words and there was a struggle.

Gibson managed to get the victim in a headlock and they ended up on the ground. It was then that Mr Austin's ear was bitten.

Judge Heather Norton

"He heard his girlfriend screaming," said Miss Todd. "He managed to get to his feet. He saw the defendant walk back to his table and spit something out.

"The defendant said: "There's your ear, mate." Mr Austin walked to the car park to get a car jack. He felt there might be further violence."

When he returned he saw that Gibson's shirt was covered in blood. He changed it and left.

Miss Todd said Mr Austin's girlfriend and friends recovered the missing ear part and put it in ice. They took it with the victim to the William Harvey Hospital.

Surgeons attempted to re-attach the flesh but it was later found to be "dead" and Mr Austin was left permanently disfigured.

Gibson later admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent and the second attack was committed after he had been released on licence.

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