Gang who boasted they ‘ruled village’ jailed for machete attack

JAILED Gareth Hussey, Carl Brennan, Ben Powell
JAILED Gareth Hussey, Carl Brennan, Ben Powell

Vehicle crime spree hits Hayling Island

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THEY thought they were untouchable but now three men who armed themselves with a machete and an axe and attacked a man in his home have been jailed for a total of 20 years.

Ben Powell boasted that he was ‘king of the village’ before the attack, while his step-dad Carl Brennan told police their victim, Bradley Brennan, got what he deserved.

The two of them, along with pal Gareth Hussey, were jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for what a judge described as ‘an appalling and unprovoked attack’.

Powell and his step-dad were left intent on getting revenge after a row with Mr Brennan at The Vine Inn, in Hambledon.

Together with Hussey they armed themselves with weapons and went to his home in West Street.

The three smashed the windows to the cottage, while Mr Brennan was inside with his wife Hayley and two female friends, and trashed their cars.

When Mr Brennan went outside to investigate the noise they ambushed him.

Powell, a 20-year-old plasterer, crashed the machete down on his head, fracturing his skull and leaving him bleeding heavily.

Carl Brennan, who is not related to the victim, then bundled him back into the house where the assault continued.

Prosecutor Matthew Lawson said: ‘Mr Bradley thought he was fighting for his life. He managed to fight them off.’

The men ran off, leaving a scene of devastation, with £14,000 worth of damage to the property and Mr Brennan weak through loss of blood.

Mr Brennan’s wife, Hayley, said she thought the three were going to kill her and her husband during the attack in November last year.

Judge Peter Henry said: ‘This was an appalling and unprovoked attack, not only upon the property but on Bradley Brennan himself.

‘Considerable damage was caused to his property and cars.

‘The attack itself resulted in the most serious injury to the forehead.

‘The effect of all this has been not only to leave a permanent physical scar on his face but it has left deep emotional scars on Mr and Mrs Brennan.’

He said Powell and Brennan had felt wronged after an argument with Mr Brennan outside the pub.

‘Whatever happened it was a minor incident and could not and did not justify any sort of revenge,’ the judge said.

‘You all went round to that address mob-handed, in a gang. You had armed yourselves with potentially lethal weapons. You invaded a person’s home at night.

‘There were a number of people present at that address, all of them were terrified.’

Carl Brennan, of Stewarts Green, Hambledon, who has previous convictions for violence and carrying weapons and was described as the prime mover in the attack, was jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm with intent and criminal damage.

Powell, who had denied the assault, was jailed for eight years after he was found guilty at a trial. Hussey, 25, of Corbett Road, Waterlooville, was jailed for four years after a trial.

Rachael Powell, 40, also of Stewarts Green, who is the partner of Carl Brennan and the mother of Ben Powell, was cleared of a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. She was accused of trying to dispose of the men’s blood-stained clothes and weapons.