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Hammer-attack man from Manor Park loses appeal

Monday, November 5, 2012
5:00 PM

A drug-addled thug who battered a passer-by with a claw hammer after vowing to attack “the first person he saw” has failed to convince top judges he was too harshly punished.

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Minesh Patel, of First Avenue, Manor Park, was caged indefinitely for public protection - which is almost identical to a life term - at Inner London Crown Court in May this year after he was convicted of wounding with intent.

Patel, 30, suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, London’s Appeal Court heard, which he is able to control through medication, except when using cannabis.

At the time of the hammer attack in October last year Patel had been smoking cannabis throughout the night, and woke up in an agitated state.

“When he came to in the early morning he picked up a claw hammer and went out with the intention of hitting someone with it,” said Mr Justice Hickinbottom.

“He intended to hit the first person he saw, and said he had bursts of violence in his subconscious”.

Patel’s hapless victim was ambushed as she walked to work, the court heard, suffering serious injuries when he struck her from behind before fleeing down the street.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Judge Guy Boney QC, said Patel knew that violent outbursts could be triggered by taking cannabis and should have known better than to dabble in drugs.

Fortunately his victim escaped really major injuries, said the judge, but that was “only by providence”. Patel’s “culpability” was very high, he added, and the sentencing judge was entitled to find him dangerous.

“He took a claw hammer onto the streets, and intended doing the first stranger he met some really serious harm. It’s only by providence that severe harm was not done,” said the judge.

Patel’s open-ended sentence means he will only be freed when, and if, the Parole Board is convinced that the danger he poses to society has passed.

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