Hammer and knife attackers jailed for county lines assault
Two men who brutally assaulted a teenage drug dealer who was being exploited by county lines gangsters have been jailed.
Kyle Turner, 34, and Matthew Walls, 32, set upon a vulnerable 17-year-old who had been supplying them with drugs, in an attack that involved a hammer and a bladed weapon.
Turner will serve an eight-year sentence and Walls seven-and-a-half years, after a judge found that they were both dangerous offenders.
The assault took place in broad daylight near a social club in King Street, Dawley, Telford, in June last year and the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was left with serious injuries to his eye socket and cheekbones.
He has since left the country with his mother, who feared for his safety, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard this week at his attackers' sentencing hearing.
CCTV footage showed the two men and an unknown third man (who is still at large) standing over and assaulting the teenager, who was vulnerable and a victim of modern slavery.
Both men were regular drug users and had bought from their victim previously.
Drivers who were passing by at the time witnessed the attack and dashcam footage formed part of the evidence in the case.
At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, prosecutor Mr Philip Beardwell said: "The injuries were serious enough to warrant emergency medical treatment.
"There is video evidence of the attack."
Turner and Walls, who both live in King Street, denied wounding with intent. Turner also faced a charge of having an offensive weapon (a hammer) and Walls denied having a bladed article.
They were found guilty by a jury in December.
Mitigating for Walls this week, Mr Giles Morrison told the court that while he has been in custody, Walls has been studying maths and learning to work on bicycles.
"He is still relatively young... he is making progress and he is showing remorse," said Mr Morrison.
Mr Kevin Jones, representing Turner, told Judge Peter Barrie that Turner has reflected on his behaviour and is hopeful for his future with his partner after his release.
The judge told both men: "[The victim] was a 17-year-old man who was being exploited by a drug dealing county lines gang from Wolverhampton to peddle class A drugs in Telford. He was dealing drugs to both of you."
He said the attack on the teenager was "vicious" and "coordinated". He referred to both defendants' criminal records, which include convictions for violent offences.
In the circumstances, he said, both men could be considered dangerous, so he imposed an extended sentence in each case. Walls will serve eight years, 18 months of it on license, and Walls will serve seven and a half, with the same period of license.
Both will be eligible for parole two thirds of the way through their jail time.
After the judge handed down his sentence, both men called to loved ones who had attended the court.
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