A man who brutally attacked members of the public with a hammer has been found guilty and sentenced to more than 13 years in jail.
James Fripp, 42, of King Henry’s Drive, New Addington was found guilty at the Old Bailey last Thursday for violently assaulting two people with a hammer.
A jury found Fripp unanimously guilty on three separate charges. These included grievous bodily harm as well as actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.
The court heard that in the early hours of May 7 this year, Fripp used a hammer to randomly strike a 49-year-old man walking along Spring Lane in Woodside on his way home, fracturing his skull.
A 51-year-old man who witnessed the attack quickly intervened. Fripp hit the second man with his hammer and knocked him unconscious.
Fripp was restrained when other members of the public became involved. Two young men managed to bring him to the ground until police arrived.
Fripp was arrested at the scene on suspicion of grievous bodily harm. He pleaded not guilty, claiming that he acted out of self-defence. Neither the first victim nor the witnesses knew Fripp, and the attack is believed to have been random.
Detective Constable Robert Sidney said: “The actions of the first Good Samaritan, who confronted an enraged man armed with a hammer, are a testament to his bravery.”
Judge Rebecca Poulet awarded the second man £500 for his “courage” intervening in the attack.
Sidney added: “Had it not been for the quick-thinking immediate actions of the members of the public on Spring Lane that night, there is a very real possibility that the victim would have suffered life-changing or even fatal injuries.”
Sidney said: “The effects of becoming a victim of violent crime remain far longer than the time taken for injuries to heal. I hope that the victims and the courageous witnesses in this case find a measure of comfort in the sentence handed down.”