Ex convict jailed for Axminster hammer attack

PUBLISHED: 07:58 25 January 2019

Steven McMahon

Steven McMahon


‘Dangerous offender’ battered girlfriend’s former partner

A ‘dangerous’ ex convict has been jailed for plotting a revenge attack in which he battered his victim around the head with a hammer.

Steven McMahon was wanted for recall to prison and was on the run when he lay in wait and attacked his new girlfriend’s ex partner in Axminster.

He had his plan of attack written on a piece of paper which set out how he was going to stalk victim Benjamin Watkins after he left girlfriend Kelly Westlake’s home.

McMahon blacked out the windows of the house in Foxhill so Mr Watkins could not see him inside as he approached it. When he knocked on the door, McMahon hid in the kitchen before slipping out the back door.

Neighbours saw him lurking behind a parked van on the other side of the road and when Mr Watkins left the house, he followed him and attacked him in nearby Lyme Close.

He left him with blood streaming from four hammer blows to his forehead and nose but did not suffer any permanent injury.

McMahon was angry because Mr Watkins had found out about his relationship with his ex partner Kelly Westlake and alerted police that he was staying at her home.

The plan was set out on the note found in his pocket which read: ‘go out bk door, wait for him there, do whatever’.

McMahon has a history of violent offending and suffers from narcolepsy and catalepsy, aggravated by a heroin addiction, and has led to him being described as a zombie.

McMahon, aged 35, of no fixed address but formerly of Clinton Rise, Beer, was found guilty of wounding, and possession of an offensive weapon by a jury at Exeter Crown Court last month.

On Tuesday (January 22), at Exeter Crown Court, he was jailed for four years with a one year extended licence by Judge David Evans, who classified him as a dangerous offender who poses a high risk of causing harm by future violence.

He told him: “There was the use of a weapon and pre-meditation and the offence is aggravated by your previous convictions. This was carried out late at night on the street, partly in the presence of others.”

McMahon carried out the attack at 9.30 pm on July 29 last year after Mr Watkins had gone to Miss Westlake’s home for the second time that day.

He had been in a relationship with Miss Westlake in the past but they had broken up and she was with McMahon at the time of the attack.

Mr Watkins was walking home when he was followed and challenged by McMahon who was holding the hammer in one hand and asked ‘do you want some?’ There was a fight in which he was hit with the weapon.

McMahon fled on a motorcycle which he drove down narrow alleyways to avoid the police. He was arrested the next day at Chard Medical Centre in Somerset.

He had been released from and eight year, ten month sentence just nine months before the attack but was wanted by police for breaching the conditions of his licence and had been had on the run for 12 days.

His previous sentence was for stabbing a pizza delivery driver in Axminster in 2013 at a time when he was already on a suspended sentence for a stabbing at a party in Taunton.

In court, McMahon claimed he was acting in self defence and he had the hammer because he had been working on his motorbike.

Mr William Parkhill, defending, said McMahon’s time in prison will be difficult for him because he will be separated from his young family and he is worried his medical conditions will not be treated properly.

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