Drunken Sunderland man launched hammer attack after drinking 17 cans of lager

The case was dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court.
The case was dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court.

A drunken man who launched a hammer attack on two strangers has been jailed for six months.

Paul McGowan drank 16 cans of lager and one can of super strength lager before he verbally abused a couple who were sitting in their back yard, Durham Crown Court heard.

"About 30 minutes later McGowan returned with two claw hammers," said Graeme Cooke, prosecuting.

"The victims withdrew into the address, and McGowan used a hammer to smash a window to gain entry.

"Once inside, the male householder defended himself by throwing a framed picture at McGowan who fled the building.

"He was arrested the next day, but made no comment when interviewed by police."

McGowan, 32, of Tilbury Road, Thorney Close, Sunderland, admitted possession of an offensive weapon, affray, and criminal damage, all in Sacriston, County Durham, on August 6 this year.

The court heard he has previous convictions for violence beginning when he was a youth.

Tom Mitchell, defending, said in mitigation: "This case can be summed up by the 16 cans and one can of super lager.

"Mr McGowan did not know the victims in this case, although he has since been involved in an altercation in prison.

"Words said to him at that time suggests there may have been justice of some kind administered.

"There is another prosecution pending which involves one of the victims in this case causing damage to a car owned by Mr McGowan's father.

"The sooner they all put this behind them, the better.

"Mr McGowan does have a bad record, but he also works and earns good money to support his family."

The Recorder, Mr Nick Lumley jailed McGowan for six months.

The recorder told him: "This was dreadful, hooligan behaviour against strangers who certainly did not deserve it.

"You, drunk, breaking into their house armed with hammers will have been a terrifying experience for them.

"I note you had kept out of trouble since 2016, but this behaviour must be marked by a prison sentence.

"You have spent some time on remand, so the sentence I have passed should enable your release fairly shortly."