Longer jail terms for saw attack thugs who ‘chopped’ man in village attack

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TWO brazen thugs who caused horrific injuries when they attacked a carpenter with his own saw had their “unduly lenient” sentences almost doubled by top judges.

Graham Jones, 19, and Scott Telford, 20, inflicted devastating multiple wounds on 51-year-old Clifford Taylor, who was repeatedly “chopped” to the head and body.

Mr Taylor feared he was going to die in the October 2012 incident in Wheatley Hill and said he was left feeling “terrified and petrified”.

Jones, Telford and another man cornered the joiner as he emerged from his van, London’s Appeal Court heard, repeatedly slashing him with his own wood saw.

The duo claimed they lashed out in self-defence because they were in awe of Mr Taylor’s “fearsome” reputation, Lady Justice Hallett told the court.

She added that Mr Taylor was kicked, punched and grabbed around the throat, before he was slashed again and again with the saw.

Mr Taylor, who suffered deep multiple cuts and fractures in the assault, may never regain full use of one leg due to his wounds.

But, he had been “reluctant” to sketch out the full extent of the incident’s psychological impact for fear of “gratifying” his attackers.

The trigger for the assault on Mr Taylor was an earlier incident in which he gave Jones’ father, Graham Jones senior, a black eye, said the appeal judge.

Jones junior, of Wordsworth Avenue, Wheatley Hill, was detained for five years at Teesside Crown Court in April after admitting wounding with intent. Telford, a soldier, of Kenton Crescent, Thornley, was handed a four-year term after pleading guilty to the same offence.

But both men’s cases reached the Appeal Court as lawyers for the Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC, argued their sentences were far too soft.

Lady Justice Hallett noted the extreme violence involved.

Mr Taylor was struck at least 13 times with the saw and kicked and punched as he lay helpless on the ground. Some of the violence inflicted was purely “gratuitous”, she told the court.

Lady Justice Hallett said: “The least sentences we can substitute are eight years in a young offenders’ institution for Jones and seven years for Telford.”