A man from Margate, Kent, has been jailed after he attacked his gay flatmate with a hammer as he slept.

Joseph Williams, 21, was sentenced to 14 years in prison at the Old Bailey for attempted murder of his flatmate, Connor Huntley, who was 18 years-old at the time.

Huntley’s injuries are so severe he now suffers from epilepsy and restrictive body movements; prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC told the court.

During sentencing Judge Jeremy Donne QC said,

“On May 28, 2013 you picked up a hammer, went into the bedroom of your sleeping flatmate and brought it down two times on his head.

“Not only did it fracture his skull but it was embedded in his brain.

“The injuries suffered by Connor Huntley were little short of catastrophic. They were life-changing.

“It is fortunate in the extreme for both him as for you that he did not die.

“That was only down to the skill of the medical personnel treating him but he will never be able to live an ordinary life.

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“He will be never be able to enjoy all the things that young people enjoy doing.

“You have taken away a good part of his life.”

The attack happened in May last year. Police who attended the scene described how they found Mr Huntley covered in blood with the claw hammer embedded in his head. He was immediately taken to hospital and was treated for a skull fracture and brain injury.

During the case, the court heard that Williams was raised a Catholic and had been heard to make derogatory remarks about gay men before the attack.

Williams will serve his sentence in a high-security hospital after the court found he had been suffering mental health issues at the time of the attack. He will stay there until he is deemed fit to leave.