Brutal Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith have been jailed for 10 years after leaving the victim with his ‘ear hanging off’ in shocking attack
L-R; Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith, who have both been jailed for 10 years for false imprisonment and GBH with intent
Two savage thugs tied up a man, slashed him with knives and poured vodka in his eyes during an horrific episode of violence in the victim’s own home.
Sick Damian Sweet and Liam Snaith left Jordan Hopkins with his ear “hanging off” and in need of stitches and staples when they subjected him to the sickening onslaught for no reason.
The pair had turned up with a bottle of Frosty Jacks cider at the victim’s home one night last August and he let them in thinking they were his friends, a court heard.
But, they soon turned violent and bound the 23-year-old with cables before launching their sickening attack.
During the shocking ordeal, Mr Hopkins was slashed with a Stanley knife, kicked, punched, taunted, humiliated, headbutted and had booze poured in his eyes, a court was told.
When they finally stopped, the victim, who had been in and out of consciousness, was left with swelling, cuts and bruises on his face and body, a bite mark on his arm and a broken collarbone.
He was taken to hospital and treated with staples, stitches and glue.
Now, Sweet, 19, and Snaith, 23, both of Whitehead Street, South Shields, have been jailed for 10 years each after pleading guilty to false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm with intent at Newcastle Crown Court.
Sentencing them, Judge Penny Moreland said: “This was a sustained assault by the two of you on him and you used a weapon to cause him injury.
“There are a number of aggravating factors, you were both under the influence of drink or drugs, there were two of you in his flat, attacking him together, this occurred in the complainant’s own home and it included gratuitous degradation by squirting and drenching him with drink.”
In a victim statement, Mr Hopkins told the court that, after the attack, his eyes had been so swollen, he could hardly see and he’d been left suffering from nightmares and flashbacks.
He said: “My right ear was sliced and cut so it was hanging off and had to be glued.”
Mr Hopkins added: “I am forever looking over my shoulder.
“I have flashbacks of the assault when I go to bed, nightmares of the ordeal and I wake up in a cold sweat. The people that attacked me were supposed to be my friends. Now, I find it hard to trust anyone.”
The court heard Mr Hopkins’ physical and mental health have also suffered because of the attack.
Mark Guiliani, prosecuting, said the incident happened on August 6 when Mr Hopkins had been out with friends and was about to go to bed.
His attackers, who he had got along with as pals in the past, then turned up carrying the Frosty Jack cider.
Mr Guiliani said Mr Hopkins could tell immediately that the pair were under the influence of something and were acting “out of character”.
Snaith then locked Mr Hopkins’ front door and put the key in his pocket, the court was told.
Snaith and Sweet then used electrical cables to tie up the victim and bound his hands and legs together.
The court heard Snaith then produced a Stanley knife and slashed Mr Hopkins across the left eye after asking him if he “had ever been in a hostage situation before”.
Mr Guiliani said: “As soon as he did this, blood started to pour down the complainant’s face. The knife was then passed to Sweet.”
The prosecutor said Sweet then started to carve a pattern on the victim’s face and told him “you will remember me” before slashing his cheek.
Mr Guiliani added: “He said although he could feel the cuts, he couldn’t feel any pain. He contributes this to shock.”
The court heard the victim was untied and dragged into the bathroom, beaten, and then tied up again in the living room.
Mr Guiliani said: “Liquid from a bottle was squirted into his eyes, which caused him to clench his eyes. He thought it may have been vodka and coke, the liquid was dark in colour.
“Then, one of the bottles of Frosty Jacks was poured over his head. By this stage, the complainants eyes were swollen so much they were heavy, he was struggling to keep them open.”
Mr Hopkins drifted in an out of consciousness and was later taken to a different flat, where paramedics were called.
Paul Rooney, defending Sweet, who has no past convictions, said: “He says he is disgusted with himself. He cannot understand why he did what he did and he wishes to apologise to him.”
John Wilkinson, defending Snaith, who has convictions for disorderly behaviour, said: “He had consumed drink and a large amount of drugs on the day we are concerned with, which perhaps explains, though does not excuse, the bizarre behaviour he entered in to with his co-accused.”