Man jailed for seven and a half years following hammer attack in Tilgate

Jason Halliday. Photo courtesy of Sussex Police.
Jason Halliday. Photo courtesy of Sussex Police.

A man who admitted using a hammer in an attack on another man was jailed for seven and a half years.

Jason Halliday, 45, of Ross Close, Tilgate, was sentenced at Hove Trial Centre today.

He had pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Prosecutor Amy Packham said victim Adrian West was out drinking in Crawley on October 28 last year, with his friend Miss Sweeney.

Miss Sweeney, who was Halliday’s partner, invited Mr West back to their flat for more drinks.

Halliday, who had known Mr West for some years, happened to meet them as they were approaching the flat.

They invited him to join them, but he said he was on his way to see a friend, and walked off.

Miss Packham told the court that Halliday was suspicious about the two of them, and he headed back to the flat.

“By the time he had got there, he had worked himself into a jealous rage,” she said.

“His suspicions were not entirely unfounded as they had shared a kiss earlier that evening.

“He walked through the hallway and selected a hammer from the under-stairs cupboard where it was kept.

“The defendant walked straight up to Mr West and without warning or provocation began swinging the hammer at Mr West’s head.”

She said Mr West managed to deflect some of the strikes with his forearms, but suffered several blows to the head and fell to the floor, bleeding heavily.

Halliday made off but was arrested later near the parade of shops by The Charcoal Burner pub.

Police found the hammer, which he had returned to the cupboard.

Philip Meredith, representing Halliday, told Judge David Rennie: “The main mitigation is that he’s pleaded guilty on the full facts, for which you’re good enough to give him maximum credit.

“It was a jealous rage, but it wasn’t entirely unfounded.

“When people are full of drink, and fuelled by drink, things get out of hand.”

He praised Mr West for his behaviour since the incident, saying: “He has conducted himself with great dignity, which he’s doing today.

“We’re all, on the defence side of this, very sorry that this incident ever happened.

“This was very spontaneous, fuelled by alcohol, to all parties a very unfortunate incident.”

Sentencing, Judge Rennie told Halliday: “I don’t know quite what put you into such a rage.

“Many human beings, including those in this court, have experienced feelings of jealousy,” he said, adding that few people ever feel driven to carry out such a ‘shocking’ attack.

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