Masked gang's brutal machete and axe attack left Sunderland man 'dripping' in blood

Gareth Smith
Gareth Smith

A man was left 'dripping' in blood after he was targeted by attackers armed with a machete and an axe.

The victim was pounced on by a gang of up to five men, some wearing masks, as he left a pal's flat last May.

Gary Haig

Gary Haig

During a savage and bloody beating, Gareth Smith, 31, who was armed with a machete, and Gary Haig, 26, who had an axe, inflicted blows to his back and legs.

The 32-year-old victim - who managed to stagger to his nearby home after calling out for help when the violence ended - suffered lacerations to his eye and back as well as a punctured lung.

Witnesses described blood "dripping" from him after the unprovoked attack in Sunderland.

One police officer was able to follow a blood trail to pinpoint the exact location of the violence.

At Newcastle Crown Court Smith, of Padgate Road, and Haig, of Simonside Road, both Sunderland, both pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.

Mr Recorder Paul Isaacs sentenced both men, who were not masked during the attack, to 35 months behind bars each.

The judge told them: "This was a sustained assault and there were serious injuries, though not half as serious as might have been thought would be the case.

"It was clearly premeditated although I am not told of any motive on either of your behalf and I am not going to guess.

"There was the use of weapons, a machete and an axe, one each. There was clearly an intention to cause more harm than actually occurred.

"This was a group attack and you both take responsibility for what took place."

The judge said the men must stay away from their victim under the terms of a five year restraining order.

Mr Anderson said in a victim statement that the violence used on him was "unprovoked" and added: "I thought that the males were trying to kill me due to the amount of times I was assaulted and also weapons were being used against me."

Mr Anderson said he was left "extremely shocked and traumatised" after the attack.

Defence barristers said both attackers are family men with stable partners who will find work after their release.

The was no explanation for what sparked the violence.