Man behind bars following hammer attack in Guildford town centre
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A man is behind bars for five years for a vicious assault on a teenage girl outside Nando’s in Guildford in July 2019.
Jack Gower, 18, of Molesham Way, West Molesey, was jailed for five years after pleading guilty to malicious wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court earlier today (5 February).
He was also sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment (to run concurrently), after pleading guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.
The court heard how the 18-year-old victim was walking along Friary Street around 6.10pm on 4 July 2019 when Gower approached her from behind, took a claw hammer out of his bag and hit her on the back of the head with it two or three times. She was left with concussion and two serious cuts to her head as a result of the attack.
The court heard how the victim had also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression since the incident.
Following the attack, officers launched an immediate investigation and Gower was arrested shortly afterwards at his home address. A search revealed he also had a knife and a balaclava in his bag at the time of the offence. The hammer was recovered from the scene.
Detective Constable Seb Valentine, who investigated the offence, said: “This was a pre-meditated and brutal attack carried out in a busy pedestrianized area, with Gower making no attempt to conceal his crime. It is extremely fortunate that he did not cause the victim more serious harm that day.
“The victim was left traumatised and is still suffering from severe psychological damage as a result of the attack. The mental anguish she continues to experience was recognised by the judge in sentencing Gower. She is to be commended for her bravery throughout her ordeal and I hope that the sentence handed to Gower today will go some way towards helping her to move her on with her life.”
In a statement read out to the court, the victim said her life would “never be the same again”.
She said: “I honestly thought I was going to die. I had my whole life ahead of me but the attack left me scared to leave the house and suffering from panic attacks.
“I can cover up the physical scars on my head, they will fade, but this completely unprovoked attack has caused me so many psychological issues, that my life will never be the same again.”