Welwyn Garden City men jailed after ‘horrific’ attack

PUBLISHED: 11:22 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:05 06 March 2018

Charlie Temple and Nicky Sandwell. Pictures: Herts Police

Charlie Temple and Nicky Sandwell. Pictures: Herts Police


Two Welwyn Garden City men have been jailed after storming into a man’s home and launching an “horrific attack” on the occupants.

Belinda Price has suffered life-changing facial injuries. 
Picture: Supplied by Belinda Price Belinda Price has suffered life-changing facial injuries. Picture: Supplied by Belinda Price

Charlie Temple, 25, of Knella Road, and Nicky Sandwell, 26, of Wheatley Close, visited the home of 57-year-old Patrick Casey in Wheatley Road and, when refused entry, attacked him, his son, his son’s girlfriend and their neighbour.

The pair appeared for sentencing in St Albans Crown Court on Monday, March 5, after having pleaded guilty to all the charges.

Temple was charged with GBH, burglary and two offences of common assault, while Sandwell was charged with GBH and wounding.

Prosecutor Robert Forrest told the court how Mr Casey had answered the door to Temple and Sandwell on August 27, 2017.

He said: “Both were under the influence of drink. Francis [Patrick’s son] had had a run in with Temple some weeks before and Mr Casey knew him by sight.

“Temple had a cut on his right arm and asked for tissues. Mr Casey wanted to help him and went upstairs to get tissues but his son’s girlfriend was in the shower so he came back with kitchen roll.

“Temple asked to come in but Mr Casey said no. On being refused entry Mr Temple grabbed Mr Casey in a headlock and punched him hard in the face.”

Francis Casey saw his father on his knees in the doorway while Temple grabbed him by his hair and rammed his head into his knee. Temple repeatedly hit Mr Casey and knocked him out before kicking him in the head.

While Temple ran after Francis Casey, Sandwell assaulted the neighbour Belinda Price, who is in her 50s. Mr Forrest said: “She saw them run towards her and Sandwell hit her hard in the face and ran off.

“Francis ran upstairs to the bathroom where Lauren Anderson [Francis’s girlfriend] was having a shower and locked the door.

Mr Temple kicked his way in and swung a punch at Francis, causing him to have a bloody nose, and pushed Miss Anderson into the bath.”

Temple then went into Mr Casey’s room and stole around £75 in cash.

Both Patrick Casey and Belinda Price were taken to hospital.

Mr Casey had a cut in the corner of his mouth which required stitches and which will leave a permanent scar.

Miss Price, who has osteoporosis, suffered multiple fractures in her face which caused permanent damage.

Matthew Lippard, representing Temple, paraphrased a letter Temple had written to the judge, detailing abuse he suffered as a child. Mr Lippard said: “He was never offered any counselling and only turned to his mother for support, who he lost at 18 years of age from cancer.

“While he doesn’t use that as justification he wants to explain where he comes from.

“The burglary is callous but the value of the cash is only opportunistic.”

Representing Sandwell, Jason Cross said: “He said he was just running and it just happened. There were no calculated thoughts.”

Mr Cross told the court how Sandwell offered to pay £1,000 compensation to Miss Price, and phoned the police after his first interview to offer more information.

Judge Andrew Bright said: “This was a horrific attack in which you forced your way into a man’s home and inflicted injury on him and the other occupants.

“What happened thereafter was truly shocking and the injuries that were inflicted on Patrick Casey and Belinda Price were significant.

“You were intent on causing havoc.

“The assault on Patrick Casey was vicious and sustained.”

Temple was sentenced to 27 months in prison, and Sandwell was sentenced to 18 months, with both having to pay a victim surcharge.

Speaking to the Welwyn Hatfield Times, Miss Price said: “I was totally shocked and angry by what happened.

“Words can’t describe what this has done to me to be honest.

“Unfortunately I need more surgery as the floor of my eye has collapsed and I need an implant to hold it in place .

“I still have little feeling to my face and emotionally this has been extremely difficult for me to come to terms with.”

Miss Price added: “Eighteen months for nearly killing me is honestly not long enough.

“He punched me in the temple.

“My surgeon said I was lucky to be alive .

“I can’t get my head round why somebody could do that to a woman who weighs 8st.

“For me the sentencing is not long enough.

“I’ve been left with double vision, loss of feeling to my face and facial scaring.

“I can’t move on as I still have more facial surgery to go through.

“I’d like to thank Luton & Dunstable Hospital as they have been fantastic.”

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