Three savage attackers who chopped off a man’s leg with machetes, sledgehammer and an axe have been jailed for 30 years each.
The man who had his leg hacked off by the gang armed was left so scared he lied in court to save them.
Max Lambert, 34, Liam Whitaker, 39, and Liam Hanbury 41, cornered their victim at a house in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, in January last year.
They’re said to have hacked at him so hard that one of the machetes broke, which jurors agreed was a ‘clear attempt to commit murder’. Yorkshire Live reported.
The victim, who knew at least one of his attackers, was so terrified by them that he reportedly tried to get them off the hook even as overwhelming evidence against them was presented at trial.
As a result, the gang’s motives for the ‘carefully planned and targeted attack’ have never been revealed.
The victim’s leg was severed below the knee in the ‘dreadful’ attack, police said.
It was successfully reattached through multiple surgeries but the lasting effects were described as ‘life-changing’.
The trio tried to cover up their tracks – even burning the car they had travelled in – but the victim was able to name Lambert as one of the attackers.
But despite the fact the trio had been charged, the terror of the attack had traumatised the victim so much that he did not want to give evidence.
After hearing rumours he would be killed if he gave evidence himself, the victim made a statement insisting they were not responsible for the attack, YorkshireLive reports.
He then failed to attend a hearing for the trial and was arrested, spending two weeks in custody.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, then finally agreed to give evidence but again tried to exonerate his attackers.
A group of people were said to have waited for the victim as he left custody and ‘mocked’ him while filming him before uploading the footage to social media.
According to YorkshireLive, the presiding judge said the victim should be seen as a hostile witness to the Crown, adding: ‘He is paranoid and anxious and manifested itself in his behaviour.’
The attackers, who are from Bradford and Shipley, were found guilty of attempted murder at Leeds Crown Court after a ‘comprehensive’ investigation which saw them tracked down and charged within a few days of the incident.
Chief Superintendent Jim Griffiths, District Commander of Kirklees Police, said: ‘The very significant sentences given to these men make plain that those who think it is acceptable to carry weapons and also use them, can expect to spend many years behind bars.’