Hammer attacker is jailed

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A man who launched a £10,700 hammer attack on a family’s home as four children and their parents slept inside has been jailed for nine months.

Mark Hilton, 31, of Wilton Place, Leyland, randomly struck at the home of Victoria Salkeld and her young family on Canberra Road, Leyland, at 2.45am on October 26, 2013, armed with the weapon.

Mrs Salkeld and her husband, a businessman, watched from the gallery at Preston Crown Court as the judge heard how she was showered in glass as raging Hilton hammered blows on her doors and windows before turning his attention to the family’s car.

Her four frightened children, aged 18, 16, 13, and 11, hid in an upstairs bedroom.

Prosecuting, Hilary Banks said: “She was woken by crashing and smashing. She woke her husband and went downstairs.

“She opened the door to the porch and saw a man standing outside. He was shouting and swearing.

“At this point he put his hand through the door.

“At the time he was shouting: ‘get out here.’

“The youngest children were absolutely petrified.”

Hilton, who admits criminal damage, was arrested at the scene.

Miss Banks revealed the youngsters had visited a police station to see how 999 calls were dealt with in a bid to allay their fears.

Defending, Adrian Williams said Hilton’s brother had noticed a deterioration in his emotional state, and added: “It’s almost inexplicable why someone behaved this way”.

Judge Recorder Crawford said: “The children fear this sort of thing could happen again.

“The victim impact statement outlines how upset they were and how this has affected the family and how they live.”