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Home Maidstone News Article
Trenton Musgrave and Liam Quinnell were cleared of attempting to murder William McMaster, but convicted of wounding him with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The jury of nine men and three women returned unanimous verdicts after deliberating for almost three-and-a-half hours.
Adjourning sentence until the week beginning January 27, Judge Michael Carroll said he had to have a report to assess dangerousness.
Quinnell, of Bicknor Road, Maidstone, and Musgrave, of Melville Road, Maidstone, denied the charges.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Musgrave struck his friend Mr McMaster with such force with the hammer that it shattered his skull. Quinnell joined in with kicks as the victim lay bleeding and helpless on the ground.
Mr McMaster, 35, had been to a party at Telford House in Boxley Road, Maidstone, on June 14 this year and Quinnell, 26, and Musgrave, 29, turned up with Alan Murray.
Host Brian Johnston asked them to leave because they were drunk and rowdy.
Mr McMaster left soon afterwards to check his car parked nearby. He joined the three after Musgrave asked him if he would like to smoke some cannabis.
They drove off, but Musgrave and Mr Murray argued. The car was stopped and Musgrave punched Mr Murray. Mr McMaster pulled Musgrave away. Mr Murray ran off.
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 then ran after Mr McMaster and struck him between the shoulder blades with the hammer and then on the head.
Mr McMaster was taken to Pembury Hospital. A CT scan revealed he had a depressed skull fracture. A pathologist said such a blow could prove fatal.
Musgrave claimed he acted in self-defence when Mr McMaster picked up a rock and threatened him with it. Quinnell claimed he did not see Musgrave with a hammer. He admitted he should not have kicked Mr McMaster.
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