A CONVICTED drug dealer hacked his former girlfriend's new partner in the head and body with an axe in front of a screaming four-year-old child.

Ross Corbett admitted section 18 wounding (with intent) following the attack in Rynal Street, Evesham on his ex’s new partner, Gareth Lewis.

The 30-year-old was jailed for six years at Worcester Crown Court following the attack on September 1 last year. Part of the attack was captured on CCTV outside the victim’s home address which was played to the judge.

Paul Whitfield, prosecuting, said Mr Lewis was in a relationship with Corbett’s ex, Tara Ballard, and saw them together at the Ambassador Club in Evesham at around 7.30pm.

Mr Whitfield said Corbett, who had been drinking and was 'somewhat agitated', followed his ex-partner home.

She told her new partner she had been followed and Mr Lewis said he would go out and tell the defendant to ‘clear off’.

Miss Ballard was alerted to the incident between the two men by a child’s screams after Corbett produced the axe from a drawstring bag.

“She says she saw Mr Lewis struck with an object which turned out to be a short axe and saw Mr Lewis struck to his head, the blow forcing him to his knees on the ground and he continued to strike Mr Lewis in this way” said Mr Whitfield.

At one point Miss Ballard was described as being underneath both men during the struggle. They were in the road and traffic had to drive around them.

Mr Whitfield said: “When police arrived they located the axe. It was analysed and found to have the complainant’s blood on the cutting edge of the axe head.”

The victim had injuries to the back of his head, the nape of his neck, the shoulders and the left bicep made by the axe blows. In hospital Mr Lewis became faint and vomited. No fracture of the skull was found. Mr Lewis said he had suffered sleepless nights, nightmares, headaches and earaches after the attack. Blood was also found in his left ear canal. He also said the attack had affected his relationship with his partner and was nervous when he went out, concerned that Corbett would cause him further injuries.

Corbett gave a no comment interview to police. He has nine previous convictions for 17 offences, including a conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he was a youth.

He was jailed for three years on January 11, 2017 for possession of a knife (a hunting knife with a six inch blade) and possession of class A drugs (heroin and cocaine) with intent to supply.

This involved the defendant dealing drugs from his car on October 4, 2016. Police also found cash and scales for weighing the drugs.

The attack with the axe was carried out on licence for these offences and he has now been recalled to prison.

Ekwall Tiwana, defending, said Corbett had been candid about taking drink and drugs on the night of the attack.

“Luckily In this case the injured party did not suffer the most serious of injuries. He was waving the axe about. It could have been a lot more serious – I have to concede that” he said.

Mr Tiwana said Corbett had been homeless because his mother asked him to leave her address over his drug use. Corbett planned to move to Cornwall to live with his father when released.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said there was more than one set of injuries to the victim’s head, ‘three in all or at least two’, six smaller injuries to his back, a shallower wound to his left bicep and one to the back of the neck.

He said the injuries were not as serious as others within the context of section 18 wounding and that the defendant had been taking ‘positive steps in prison’.

However, he said aggravating features included that the attack took place outside the victim’s home, it was carried out in the early evening when people were in their homes, the defendant was on licence at the time and that it was witnessed by other people, including a four-year-old child.

The judge jailed him for six years, half of which he can be expected to serve in custody and the rest on licence in the community. He ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the axe. He made no order for costs or compensation given the sentence.