Man on crutches hit with axe in Sunderland street attack

Terence Connolly
Terence Connolly

A man and woman are behind bars after a rival was hit with an axe during a revenge street attack.

Terence Connolly, 42, and Danielle Sawyer, 31, had gone out in a car searching the streets for Dylan Walt on July 20 after trouble at a house the previous week.

Danielle Sawyer

Danielle Sawyer

Newcastle Crown Court heard when the pair spotted their target, walking with crutches in Hylton Castle, Sunderland, they pounced.

The court heard Sawyer took one of the victim’s crutches and threw it at him but caused no injury.

Connolly then took an axe from his trousers to continue the attack.

Judge Edward Bindloss told Connolly: “You chased him up against a house or ramp.

“He was on the ground, begging not to be assaulted and you hit him with the reverse side of the axe on several occasions.

“This was a sustained attack with a weapon.”

The court heard Mr Walt suffered soft tissue injury and bruising in the violence.

The judge said a week before the attack, it is claimed Mr Walt had broken windows at Sawyer’s house and attacked Connolly with a hockey stick.

The judge told Connolly and Sawyer: “On the evidence I have heard, I am satisfied that the two of you were looking for revenge against him.”

Connolly, of Neville Road, Pallion, Sunderland, admitted having an offensive weapon and assault.

He also admitted an unrelated burglary offence after he and a co-accused raided a house in Washington in March 2016 and a shoplifting charge.

Connolly pleaded guilty to an offence of racially aggravated harassment in relation to language he used towards a police officer who arrested him after the burglary.

Judge Bindloss sentenced him to a total of three years and three months behind bars.

Vince Ward, defending, said Connolly lashed out with just two strikes of the axe and has made positive efforts to rehabilitate himself while in custody and had an offer of employment.

Sawyer, of Bradford Avenue, Town End Farm, Sunderland, admitted common assault.

The court heard she is currently serving a prison sentence for theft.

Jane Foley, defending, said: “There was one blow with the crutch, causing no injury.”