Pensioner, 79, told he “shouldn’t in this country” during brutal hammer attack

Victim John Gray was brutally attacked in his own home

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A 79-year-old pensioner was told "he shouldn't be in this country" during a brutal hammer attack in his own home.

John Gray was hit with the weapon and kicked and punched while on the ground, Teesside Crown Court heard.

He was also called a "foreign b******" during the savage assault, which left him with two haemorrhages to his brain and two rib fractures, Teesside Live reports.

Mr Gray had been at home on January 27 in Ormesby, Middlesbrough, when he heard the sound of smashed glass.

He went to the door and saw Mark Lloyd and another male, who has not been identified, standing outside.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said the pair wore crash helmets to hide their identity and threatened to kill Mr Gray unless he let them in.

He said that the victim was then kicked, punched and struck with a hammer by one of the males during the joint enterprise.

"The same male rifled through Mr Gray's pockets," the prosecutor said.  "Mr Gray then blacked out. He woke up in hospital crying and concerned because he didn't know where he was."

Mark Lloyd was one of two men involved in the attack

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A member of the public called the police and an officer arrived at the scene, who found the victim on the floor across the doorway covered in blood.

"Both males ran past the officer coming near the address," the prosecutor continued. "One made his escape, the defendant was tackled to the floor by the police officer."

Lloyd was found in possession of an orange lock knife, a spanner and various other items of property, the court was told, including two ID cards belonging to Mr Gray.

Mr Gray suffered significant bruising to his head, his body and his arms from the brutal assault.

In a victim impact statement, read to the court by Mr Perks, Mr Gray said he was known to others in the community as "Maltese John".

He said: "I have had to come home, not because I want to, but down to no space at all at my daughter's.

"I don't visit anyone and I only see others when they visit me. I now walk with a walking aid which I didn't have to before.

"I can't see me ever getting over what them men did to me. I'm 79 years old, I was fit before this happened but since I have suffered greatly."

Police after the attack in January

Lloyd, of Broadwell Road, Easterside, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary. He also admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possession of a bladed article.

The court heard how Lloyd had previous convictions but none for violence since 2000 and 2002.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, told the court that Lloyd seemed to be the least involved of the two. He said it is clear from the CCTV that the person who does not escape is hanging back.

Mr Constantine said: "Mr Lloyd accepts he was present and by that supported what was happening and became a part of it.

"He went there and as the video suggests he held back."

He said that there was no suggestion that the knife which he was in possession of was ever produced.

Mr Constantine said that he is unable to name the other male as he has a family and fears repercussions.

He said that his partner of 16 years died and they have three young children.

He said: "He wants to get back to his children. They lost their mother a few short months before this incident.

"His life fell apart. He got involved in something completely out of character."

Mr Gray suffered awful injuries

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Lloyd: "It seemed like the other male was the lead offender in terms of the violence but by being part and parcel of this offence you share his responsibility and you can't simply wash your hands of it by saying the worst of it has been done by someone else.

"He was attacked with a hammer to the head and body, having been driven to the ground, he was kicked and punched.

"Unpleasant words were said. That can only give the implication of a racist overtone to what was going on.

"But it was clear that the prime motivation was money and the belief that there was money to be had in his house."

Judge Carroll sentenced Lloyd to eight years and one month in prison, with an indefinite restraining order against the victim.

In February, Mr Gray's daughter Chantelle, 41, said : "He's been smashed to pieces. When we got him to the hospital he had three broken ribs after being beaten with a hammer.

"He had a bleed on the brain and someone had cut him with a knife on his arm.

"In the hospital he didn't know who any of us were. He was very scared.

"He could have died. The nurses can't understand how he's still alive, they said a young person with those injuries would be lucky to survive. I'm pretending it's not real. It's destroyed us."

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