A hooligan who smashed eight of his victim’s ribs in a sustained attack with golf clubs before stabbing him in the face has been convicted.
Damien Catchpole, 43, exploded into “vicious and brutal” violence inside Michael Griffin’s Margate home after neighbour Tania Vella, 53, stamped on his face.
One witness heard Catchpole announce he was “going to play golf,” before setting about Mr Griffin with his clubs in June last year.
Catchpole has now been convicted of wounding with intent and Vella causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a unanimous verdict at Canterbury Crown Court.
Alongside fractured ribs, Mr Griffin suffered multiple lacerations to his head and face, including a knife wound which passed under his chin into his mouth.
The three neighbours and others had been drinking alcohol in Vella’s flat when Mr Griffin left following a row over a spilled vase, prosecutors said.
Vella would later knock on Mr Griffin’s front door before punching him twice in the face, then slam his head into a wall, CCTV showed.
After Mr Griffin’s head hit the floor he became unresponsive before Vella delivered two kicks, stamped on his thigh, then disappearing off screen.
But she returned into view seconds later and stamped on Mr Griffin’s face, rendering him prone on his back in a pool of blood, jurors saw.
Prosecutor Steven Attridge argued: “Anyone who stamps on someone’s face on the floor has the intent to cause really serious injury.”
After regaining consciousness Mr Griffin managed to crawl inside his front door, CCTV evidence showed.
And after Catchpole appeared in the corridor he pursued Mr Griffin into the property to deliver a “vicious, brutal, sustained attack upon a vulnerable individual,” Mr Attridge continued.
“It was an attack which started outside the front door of Mr Griffin’s home, that attack continued inside Mr Griffin’s home.
“Not only were both individuals involved but Mr Griffin was attacked with weapons.
“There is evidence golf clubs were used to beat him with and a knife was used to cause injury to his face,” Mr Attridge continued.
During the attack one witness heard Catchpole say “he is going to play golf,” the court heard.
Mr Griffin suffered multiple lacerations to his face, cuts to his head and knee, a tear to his left kidney and eight broken ribs.
And he had no recollection of how he wound up at the QEQM hospital, where he would be treated for nine days, the court heard.
“I have been told I have cracks to my ribs and injuries to my face, which I haven’t seen yet,” he told officers from the Margate hospital.
Police later discovered two of Mr Griffin’s golf clubs carrying DNA evidence, with one inside his home and another inside Vella’s flat.
“The reason you didn’t call an ambulance is because you clubbed and knifed this man in his home,” Kane Sharpe, Vella’s lawyer, told Catchpole.
“That’s rubbish mate,” he replied.
“You retrieved a golf club from a bag and shouted that you were going to play golf,” the lawyer continued.
“No,” Catchpole replied.
“What you meant is that you were going to play golf with Mr Griffin,” Mr Sharpe went on.
“I find you ridiculous for asking questions like that,” said Catchpole.
“You alone carried out a grim attack on Miss Vella’s neighbour,” said Mr Sharpe.
“No I didn’t,” protested Catchpole.
But jurors acquitted Vella of wounding with intent for the alleged role she played during Catchpole’s attack inside the flat.
Catchpole and Vella, both of Trove Court in Newcastle Hill, were remanded into custody and will be sentenced later this year pending reports into dangerousness.