Man Jailed For Frenzied Attack With Hammer

A Businessman feared for his life as two hooded men attacked him with claw hammers in a Swansea hotel car park. Bleeding heavily from a leg wound, he staggered to the hotel reception area as the pair escaped with his mobile phone-organiser.

“He described the attack as a frenzy,” prosecutor Patrick Griffiths told Swansea Crown Court.

“He said he was terrified and feared he was going to die.”

The victim suffered cuts to his left thigh and right shoulder and spent three days in hospital. One of his two attackers has now been given an indeterminate jail sentence for public protection.

Paul Coulter, aged 22, of Bonymaen, will have to serve at least three years before being considered for parole.

He admitted robbing 42-year-old management trainer John Garland, from London, in the car park of the Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Phoenix Way on Swansea Enterprise Park.

His accomplice was never caught.

Mr Griffiths told how Coulter, of Carreg Cennen Garden, and the other man targeted Mr Garland as he arrived by car at the Llansamlet hotel shortly after 9pm on November 19.

“He was in the process of gathering together his personal possessions and suddenly saw two men running towards him wearing hoods over their heads,” said Mr Griffiths.

“He became fearful when he saw that they were separating.”

Before Mr Garland managed to lock the doors, one of the men opened the front passenger door, leaned in and shouted at him to hand over his money.

“Mr Garland pushed him backwards,” said Mr Griffiths.

“The man on the driver’s side then began to hit the driver’s window with a hammer.”

Mr Garland was then struck a very heavy and painful blow to the leg.

The court heard that both men then attacked him with claw hammers but he broke free and ran towards the hotel. He turned to see both men run off.

Twenty minutes later, Coulter went to the home of his aunt, Clare Sutton, in Brokesby Road, Bonymaen, and asked her to look after a bin bag containing clothes.

Some days later she opened the bag and found the discarded hoods. Police were contacted and Coulter was arrested.

His barrister, Dean Pulling, told the court he and the other man had come upon Mr Garland as they roamed the Enterprise Park looking for commercial premises to burgle.

The robbery had been opportunistic, he said. It was described as “calculated brutality” by Recorder Ian Murphy QC.

He added: “You had gone out, armed and disguised, with a view to committing crime. You clearly were willing to take the risk of imposing serious violence on a potential victim.”