Public Schoolboy Found Guilty of Attempted Murder in Hammer Attack

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Public Schoolboy Found Guilty of Attempted Murder in Hammer Attack

A 17-year-old public schoolboy who claimed he was sleepwalking when he attacked two students and a teacher with hammers has been found guilty of their attempted murder.

The incident occurred in June last year at Blundell’s School in Tiverton. The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was dressed only in his boxer shorts when he repeatedly struck his dorm mates as they slept in their cabin-style beds in one of the boarding houses.

Both boys sustained severe injuries, including skull fractures, injuries to their ribs, a punctured lung, and internal bleeding. Prosecutors described the pair as “lucky to still be alive.”

Maths teacher Henry Roffe-Silvester was also attacked after he was awoken by noises coming from the boarding house. He encountered the silhouetted figure of the teenager, who then repeatedly struck him over the head with a hammer. Mr. Roffe-Silvester suffered six blows to the head.

The teenager admitted carrying out the attacks but claimed he was sleepwalking and denied three charges of attempted murder on the basis of insanity. However, the court heard that he had an obsession with the killing of children and hammers, which he said he kept by his bed for “protection” from the “zombie apocalypse.

Prosecutors argued that the boy armed himself with three claw hammers and waited for the two boys to fall asleep before attacking them.

The jury deliberated for more than 40 hours following a two-month trial at Exeter Crown Court. On Friday, they found the teenager guilty of three counts of attempted murder.

Trial judge Mrs. Justice Cutts has adjourned sentencing to 18 October

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