Samuel Farley jailed for Middlesbrough girlfriend attack

image copyrightCleveland Police
image captionSamuel Farley, who had taken LSD and cocaine, struggled with police

A man who violently attacked his fashion student girlfriend while under the influence of drugs has been jailed.

Samuel Farley, 21, attacked Esther Garrity in Middlesbrough in April after taking LSD and cocaine.

Farley, of Melbourne Close, Marton, Middlesbrough, had been due to face trial on a charge of attempted murder.

However, at Teesside Crown Court he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of grievous bodily harm with intent and was locked up for 12-and-a-half years.

The court was told that Farley had taken the drugs before the attack, which happened as the couple walked home after a night out.

Speaking outside court, Miss Garrity's mother, Victoria Hoban, said the drugs did not "absolve" Farley of personal responsibility.

The people who helped her daughter had probably saved her life, she added.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionEsther Garrity only survived because of the prompt help from bystanders and medical staff, police said

Manchester Metropolitan University student Ms Garrity lost teeth and suffered a badly broken jaw and severe brain swelling when he hit her and stamped repeatedly on her head.

Her injuries were so bad that a paramedic who attended the scene described them as the worst he had ever seen anyone survive.

John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said Farley, who was also found to have ketamine in his system when he was arrested, shouted "I am God" as he struggled with police.

Then on the way to hospital officers said he was "raving in an incomprehensible fashion".

Sam Green QC, mitigating, said the drugs caused the normally "loving and caring" boyfriend to behave psychotically, and Farley's friends were astonished by his "utterly out of character" behaviour.

'Life-changing injuries'

Sentencing Farley for the attack and for two counts of supplying cocaine, Judge Simon Bourne Arton said: "This is, on any view, a tragic case, for it involves the fact that two young hitherto vibrant and talented young people have been blighted.

"Blighted, of course, Samuel Farley, by your actions on that night, effectively blighted by the drugs you chose to take.

"You would not have become involved in this horrendous attack were it not for the drugs you chose to take."

Det Sgt Ted Butcher, from the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigation Team, said: "The victim is still living with the life-changing injuries of this assault and may never fully recover.

"I would like to thank the members of the public that went to Esther's aid.

"Without their prompt and brave actions and the skills of medical staff we could have been dealing with a murder inquiry".

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