Maidstone thugs Trenton Musgrave and Liam Quinnell jailed after vicious hammer attack on William McMaster in Boxley Road
Two thugs who left a father with severe head injuries after a vicious hammer attack have been jailed for a total of 25 years.
Trenton Musgrave was sentenced to 13 years and Liam Quinnell to 12 years. Under extended sentences for public protection, they will each be on licence for a further five years.
They will have to serve two thirds of the terms before the parole board will consider their release.
Trenton Musgrave, of Melville Road, Maidstone, has been jailed for 13 years
Liam Quinnell, of Bicknor Road, Maidstone, has been jailed for 12 years
They were cleared of attempted murder. They denied the charges.
A jury heard Musgrave, 30, struck his friend Mr McMaster with such force with the hammer that it shattered his skull.
Quinnell, 27, joined in with kicks as the victim lay bleeding and helpless on the ground.
Victim William McMaster was hit with ahammer in Boxley Road, Maidstone
Mr McMaster, 35, had been to a party at Telford House, in Boxley Road, in the town on June 14 last year. Quinnell and Musgrave turned up with another man, Alan Murray.
They were asked to leave because they were drunk and rowdy.
Mr McMaster went soon afterwards to check his car parked nearby. He joined the three after Musgrave asked him if he would like to smoke some cannabis.
"I am satisfied both of you present a significant risk of serious harm in future to members of the public by the commission of further offences..." - Judge Michael Carroll
They drove off, but Musgrave and Mr Murray argued. The car was stopped and Musgrave punched Mr Murray. Mr McMaster pulled Musgrave away.
Musgrave and Quinnell got back into the car and went looking for Mr Murray. He then drove at Mr McMaster.
Realising he was going to be attacked by Musgrave, Mr McMaster punched him in the face.
Musgrave ran after Mr McMaster and struck him between the shoulder blades with the hammer and then on the head.
The victim was taken to The Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, where a CT scan revealed a depressed skull fracture.
A pathologist said such a blow could prove fatal.
Finding Musgrave and Quinnell posed a significant risk of further harm, Judge Michael Carroll said they had pursued Mr McMaster because he had the "temerity" to intervene in the earlier incident with Mr Murray.
Judge Carroll said Musgrave and Quinnell had been convicted on overwhelming evidence. There were aggravating features which indicated higher culpability, he said.
"I am satisfied you pursued Mr McMaster because he had the temerity to intervene in an earlier incident involving you Musgrave kicking Alan Murray as he lay on the ground," he said.
"You also drove your car towards him, causing him to take avoiding action. He threw a can at your car. Your behaviour was completely disproportionate to that event.
"It was soon after that both of you left the safety of the car having armed yourself with a hammer. You used it on Mr McMaster, at one point while he lay on the ground offering no resistance."
The judge said the victim "miraculously" appeared to have made a reasonable recovery from extremely serious injuries.
"I am satisfied both of you present a significant risk of serious harm in future to members of the public by the commission of further offences," he added.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
Tom Stern, for Musgrave, said the father-of-two came to the UK from Belize at the age of five and had lived in the Maidstone area ever since.
Mr Stern described the attack as ugly and unpleasant but submitted that a determinate, rather than extended, sentence should be imposed.
There was nothing sinister about the hammer being in his car, he said, as he used it in his work as a roofer.
John Fitzgerald, for Quinnell, said his client's role was a lesser one and should be distinguished from that of Musgrave, who wielded the hammer.
Quinnell, also a father, admitted he was "100% in the wrong".
"When he saw the photographs (of Mr McMaster's injuries) he was full of regret," said Mr Fitzgerald.
Quinnell had been sentenced to four years' youth custody, reduced to three years on appeal, in 2002 for wounding with intent when he stabbed a man in the chest with a broken bottle.
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