A FATHER and his two sons have been jailed for a vicious attack in which a homeless man was stabbed 14 times.
Ian, Keith and John Hawkins appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court charged with wounding with intent.
The court heard the family had been allowing victim Keith Newman to use their house as a base to wash and eat while he was camping in a nearby wooded area called the Gillies in Fareham.
Mr Newman, 46, was in a relationship with Ian’s 25-year-old niece Natalia Henry, who lives in Northampton.
After getting into trouble, he fled to Fareham and was receiving help from his girlfriend’s family.
Trouble flared when Ian, 46, became agitated about the type of trouble Mr Newman had been in, with him suspecting that he was a paedophile.
Prosecuting Janice Brennan said: ‘Mr Newman was at the house when Ian questioned him about his past and threatened to beat him up if he did not tell the truth.
‘During that conversation he took out a knife and was told by his wife to calm down.
‘Mr Newman told him that he had been accused of messing around with a kid but that he was taken to court, pleaded not guilty and the case was closed.’
She said that officers had since looked for this case but could not find any record of it, meaning it could have happened in the 1980s.
She said that Ian told Mr Newman to ‘get out of Fareham’ or he would set fire to his tent.
Fearing for his safety, Mr Newman stayed at a homeless shelter that night in February and returned to his tent the next day to collect his belongings, to find the tent destroyed.
While at the tent, and on the phone to his girlfriend, he was then set upon by the Hawkins and punched, kicked and stabbed numerous times.
Girlfriend Miss Henry heard Mr Newman’s screams and called 999.
Police turned up to find 26-year-old Keith Hawkins running away, but when he saw the police he slowed down and when questioned said he was looking for a lost dog.
Police could see Ian and 23-year-old John in the distance walking away.
When they were stopped, Ian had blood on his forehead and said he had fallen.
John had blood on his knuckles, which were also swollen. He said this had happened after helping Ian when he fell over while going to urinate in the woods.
While this was happening, Mr Newman had managed to stumble up West Street, bleeding profusely, and slumped in the doorway of a lingerie shop.
A member of the public, who was an ambulance worker, found him and then police took him to hospital.
Police found a knife in the remains of the tent and one in a stream nearby. There were knife marks through the tent and blood marks on it.
Mr Newman had 14 wounds to his face, back and thigh and the court heard that had he not been wearing such thick clothing, due to him sleeping rough and it being cold, then the puncture wounds would have been more serious.
Ms Brennan said: ‘It was very clear that but for the thick items that we was wearing, the injuries would have been far worse.’
The court heard that Ian had several previous convictions, all for matters of dishonesty and one road traffic offence, which stretched back to 1986 when he was 17.
Keith had convictions for matters of dishonesty, affray and disorderly behaviour which started in 2002 when he was 13.
John, a landscape gardener, had no previous convictions.
Defending Keith, Stephen Parish said: ‘The victim himself said “if they had not stopped then they would have killed me”.’
Defending John, Nicholas Bleaney said: ‘His involvement in this unhappy enterprise rests on two aspects – fierce family loyalty and the debilitating effects of alcohol.
‘Without alcohol he has the morals to behave accordingly.’
Judge Roger Hetherington said that he sentenced the trio while taking into account their premeditation, use of weapons, their lack of remorse and their attempt to dispose of evidence.
Judge Hetherington said: ‘This was a horrific and sustained attack of extreme violence carried out by a group of three on a defenceless man based on your own warped idea of what you thought he deserved for something you knew nothing about.
‘The community are no doubt aghast at the senseless violence.’
He sentenced all three, of Bishopsfield Road, Fareham and who all pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to eight years in jail.