TWO men who were involved in a “frenzied” knife and axe attack on a teenager in Ellesmere Port in broad daylight have been jailed.
Thomas Byrne, 32, of no fixed abode in Fazakerley, Liverpool and Joseph Farrell, 22, of Bridge Street, Birkenhead, had both previously admitted being involved in the “revenge attack” which saw 18-year-old Alfie Hodgin stabbed several times, requiring emergency treatment at Aintree Hospital to save his limbs.
Byrne, who was recalled to prison to serve the rest of his nine-year sentence he received in 2016 for GBH, received a 16-month prison sentence.
Judge Patrick Thompson said he believed Farrell should be classed as dangerous and sentenced him to an extended nine-year sentence of six years custody – for which he must serve at least two-thirds behind bars – and three years extended licence.
Farrell had earlier pleaded guilty to driving without a licence and driving without insurance and had received a fine at Chester Magistrates Court.
'Nasty and incredibly serious'
Prosecuting, Sion Ap Mihangel said it was at about 4.40pm on July 14, 2022 when the pre-planned attack happened in Worcester Walk, Ellesmere Port.
Farrell was the driver of a stolen £11.5k Ford Kuga with cloned number plates and CCTV evidence played in court showed the car swerving to hit Mr Hodgin, who was riding his bicycle at the time.
Neighbours saw masked men get out of the car and stab Mr Hodgin several times, while a third man in a balaclava arrived with an axe and swiped it at Mr Hodgin’s shin. The three men then left the scene as Farrell drove off, with Mr Hodgin slumped over a fence.
The court heard Mr Hodgin suffered a number of grave injuries, including an arterial injury to the right forearm, multiple fractures and tendon injuries, which have left his arm mobility restricted.
Byrne had 26 previous convictions for 37 offences, while Farrell had eight previous convictions for 23 offences.
Stella Hayden, defending Byrne, said the defendant did not take part in the assault and admitted a charge of assisting an offender. It was accepted there was no evidence to say he was in the car at that time, but he did have knowledge the incident was going to happen, and was involved in the car being torched in Birkenhead the following day.
Paul Wood, defending Farrell, said while it was accepted the defendant was in a joint enterprise, his contribution in the attack was not as high as others.
Judge Thompson said the attack was “nasty and incredibly serious” and must have been "terrifying" for the victim, as he sentenced the pair to jail.
Speaking after the sentencing, DI Eli Atkinson said: “This brazen attack took place in broad daylight and his injuries were so severe he required emergency surgery to his limbs as tendons had been severed.
"Sadly, the long-term outlook for the victim is that he is likely to suffer from a reduced range of motion to his limbs.
“My team of detectives worked tirelessly to find those responsible for this shocking attack and we carried out a number of raids on addresses in the Wirral, as we followed the evidence to Farrell and Byrne.
"I’d like to thank the team for their dedication and tenacity which has resulted in two men being jailed for their part in this abhorrent act of violence.”