Kent

Margate man denies gay flatmate hammer attack

A gay man was attacked with a hammer while he slept on his first night in a flatshare, the Old Bailey has heard.

Connor Huntley was found alive on his air bed, but with the claw hammer embedded in his head on 28 May last year, jurors were told.

Joseph Williams, 21, of Cliftonville, Margate, denies attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard Mr Williams had made disparaging remarks about gay men.

Mr Huntley was openly gay and often wore women's clothes and makeup, the court was told.

Prosecuting, Philip Bennetts QC said the pair were "not the obvious flatmates" but had been put together by the landlord of the flat.

He said just a week before the attack, the defendant told his neighbour, a friend of Mr Huntley, he did not know if he could live with him because he would end up hitting him.

'Brain-damaged'

Mr Bennetts told the court there were at least two blows with the hammer.

"The Crown says that to hit someone more than once with a hammer in their sleep hard enough for the hammer to be embedded in their head clearly demonstrates an intention to kill them," he said.

The court heard Mr Williams told a 999 operator what he had done and said his mental health had "deteriorated".

Kent Police found Mr Williams on a blood-spattered inflatable air bed at the flat in Athelstan Road, the jury was told.

He was taken to hospital with severe head injuries and treated for a depressed skull fracture and a penetrating brain injury, but was left brain-damaged, the court heard.

The case continues.

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