St Albans man jailed for bottle attack on girlfriend's lover

A 22-YEAR-OLD from St Albans who attacked a middle-aged man after catching him in bed with his teenage girlfriend has been jailed for nearly four years. Ben Smith of Trumpington Drive pleaded guilty to wounding with intent in January following an incide

A 22-YEAR-OLD from St Albans who attacked a middle-aged man after catching him in bed with his teenage girlfriend has been jailed for nearly four years.

Ben Smith of Trumpington Drive pleaded guilty to wounding with intent in January following an incident on August 9 last year when Smith, who was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on Monday, viciously attacked 47-year-old Colin Hyam.

Mr Hyam of the High Street, Wheathampstead, had spent the summer afternoon drinking with a group of friends at Wheathampstead Social Club before returning to his High Street flat with the party.

At around 6.30pm that evening, after the group of friends had spent several hours more drinking wine, Mr Hyam and one of his guests, a 17-year-old girl - the Smith's girlfriend - went to his bedroom, undressed and began kissing.


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According to prosecutor Alexander Krickler, the next thing the victim remembered was having "some bloke" on top of him, attacking him with a wine bottle. Mr Hyam, whose injuries were so severe that he had to wrap a towel around his face to "keep his skin in place", collapsed due to loss of blood when the paramedics arrived just before midnight.

Mr Hyam, who spent the night in hospital and was discharged the next day, required sutures to his left hand, chest and face and has been left permanently scarred by the attack. He also suffers from numbness to the left side of his face, caused by nerve damage.

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Smith, who was intoxicated and on cannabis at the time of the attack, was arrested two months later by armed police, who were forced to shock him with a Taser after he was discovered armed with a knife in Radlett.

Smith, who has six previous convictions for nine offences including racially-aggravated assault and burglary, said to a police officer at the time of the Wheathampstead incident: "What would you do if you saw your missus sleeping with another man?"

It was revealed in court that Smith intended to marry his 17-year-old girlfriend, who is currently serving an 18-month sentence in jail for perverting the course of justice by falsely claiming rape on a different occasion some months before the attack in August.

David Wales, defending, said that Smith, who has now broken up with the teenager, had the alleged rape at the "forefront of his mind" when he saw Mr Hyam and the girl in bed together and asked Judge Stephen Gullick to take note of the fact that the circumstances that led to the attack were "unique".

Mr Wales also said that Smith had expressed "very real and genuine remorse" following his arrest and had since given up alcohol. He also claimed that Smith was suffering from "undiagnosed and untreated depression" at the time of the attack.

Judge Gullick jailed Smith for three years and nine months on Monday morning.

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