TWO brazen thugs who caused horrific injuries when they attacked a carpenter with his own saw had their ‘unduly lenient’ sentences nearly doubled by top judges.
Graham Jones, 19, and Scott Telford, 20, inflicted devastating multiple wounds on Clifford Taylor, 51, who was repeatedly “chopped” to the head and body.
Mr Taylor feared he was going to die in the October 2012 incident in Wheatley Hill and said he was left feeling “terrified and petrified”.
Jones, formerly of Edinburgh Square, Carley Hill, Sunderland, and Telford, a serving soldier from Thornley, and another man cornered the joiner as he emerged from his van, London’s Appeal Court heard, repeatedly slashing him with his own wood saw.
The duo claimed they lashed out in self-defence because they were in awe of Mr Taylor’s “fearsome” reputation, Lady Justice Hallett told the court.
She added that Mr Taylor was kicked, punched and grabbed around the throat, before he was slashed again and again with the saw. Mr Taylor, who suffered deep multiple cuts and fractures in the sustained assault, may never regain full use of one leg due to his wounds. The trigger for the assault on Mr Taylor was an earlier incident in which he gave Jones’s father, Graham Jones senior, a black eye, said the appeal judge.
Trouble flared when the Jones family were visiting relations in the village.
Jones junior, of Wordsworth Avenue, Wheatley Hill, was detained for five years at Teesside Crown Court in April after admitting wounding with intent.
Telford, of Kenton Crescent, Thornley, was handed a four-year term after pleading guilty to the same offence.
But both men’s cases reached the Appeal Court as lawyers for the Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC, argued their sentences were far too soft.
Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice MacDuff and Judge Nicholas Cooke QC, noted the extreme violence involved in the gang attack. Mr Taylor was struck at least 13 times with the saw and kicked and punched as he lay helpless on the ground. Some of the violence inflicted was purely “gratuitous”, she told the court. Both Jones and Telford came from good backgrounds, had “good work ethics” and had expressed remorse, she said.
However, their sentences were clearly “unduly lenient”, she concluded, directing a hefty increase in both cases.
“The least sentences we can substitute are eight years in a young offenders’ institution for Jones and seven years for Telford,” she concluded.
Jones Snr, 48, admitted unlawful wounding linked to the incident and was jailed for 18 months.