Images of a man’s horrific hammer-attack injuries have been released after his flatmate was jailed over the “vicious” assault.
Connor Huntley was 18 when Joseph Williams hit him twice in the head with the tool at the home they shared in Margate, Kent, in May last year.
Upon arriving at the flat, police found Mr Huntley on a blood-splattered inflatable air bed still alive but with the claw hammer firmly embedded in his head.
The injuries, described as “life-changing” and “little short of catastrophic”, left him with epilepsy and affected his body movement.
Williams, aged 21, was sentenced to 14 years in prison at the Old Bailey for attempted murder.
Sentencing, Judge Jeremy Donne QC told Williams: “It is fortunate in the extreme for both him and for you that he did not die.
“That was only down to the skill of the medical personnel treating him but he will never be able to live an ordinary life.
“Not only did it fracture his skull but it was embedded in his brain.
“The injuries suffered by Connor Huntley were little short of catastrophic. They were life-changing.
“He will be never be able to enjoy all the things that young people enjoy doing.
“You have taken away a good part of his life.”
Williams will serve his sentence in a high-security hospital until he is deemed fit to leave after he was found to have been suffering mental health issues at the time of the attack.
Following the attack, he told a 999 operator what he had done and explained his mental health had “deteriorated”,
The court heard that Williams came from a Catholic background and a few months before had made disparaging remarks about gay men. Mr Huntley was openly gay and often wore women’s clothes and make-up.
A week before the attack, Williams told his neighbour, a friend of Mr Huntley, that he did not know if he could live with him because he would end up hitting him.
Reacting to the verdict, Detective Inspector Richard Vickery said: “This was a nasty and seemingly unprovoked attack, with Williams striking Connor on the head whilst he was defenceless and asleep.”
Mr Huntley’s family said: “Whilst Connor is making slow but steady progress from this horrific ordeal, we feel he has been handed his own life sentence by this hideous act.
“No one deserves to be so viciously attacked in such an evil manner, regardless of race, age, gender or sexuality.”