Manchester

Hammer attacker Derry Lloyd jailed on appeal

A man who attacked a pub customer with a hammer in Greater Manchester has had his sentence overturned by appeal judges who jailed him for five years.

Derry Lloyd, 49, from Castleton, was given a three-year community service order in March after pleading guilty to the assault at Manchester Crown Court.

The Court of Appeal ruled the sentence was unduly lenient.

The court heard the victim suffered permanent injuries in the attack in Heywood town centre in July 2009.

'Flawed in principle'

The court heard Lloyd, who has mental health problems, followed David Reynolds, 42, from Rochdale, into a toilet and inflicted "terrible" injuries after wrongly believing Mr Reynolds had assaulted him seven years previously.

Lord Justice Hughes, who sat with two other judges in London, said: "The damage might easily have been fatal, though mercifully it wasn't."

The judge said Lloyd had drunk "much too much" and his "irrational delusion that his victim had assaulted him many years earlier could not begin to justify the attack, even if it had been true".

The court ruled the crown court judge's sentencing decision was "flawed in principle".

Lloyd, who was of previous good character, had pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The appeal was heard after Solicitor General Edward Garnier QC said he felt the original sentence was too lenient.

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