A HAMPSHIRE teenager has been locked up for nine years after attacking a man with a 3ft sword four days before Christmas.

Brandon Engert, 18, was staying at a friend's house in Heinz Burt Close, Eastleigh, when he struck Jon Barnes, fracturing his skull and leaving him blind in one eye.

Southampton Crown Court was told that Mr Barnes, from Winchester, suffered life-changing injuries from which he would never recover.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said the victim had undergone five operations - four on his skull and one on his left eye.

Quoting extracts from his victim impact statement Ms Hingston said Mr Barnes was temporarily left unable to walk, talk or feed himself.

She added: "He lost two-and-a-half stone while he was in hospital and at one stage he couldn't stop crying."

Hampshire Chronicle:

Mr Barnes still suffered from severe headaches, loss of short-term memory an anxiety problems which left him unable to leave his home for several days at a time, the court heard.

The victim was visiting the house on December 21 last year when he was attacked, leaving him scarred for life.

He and Engert began to argue after Mr Barnes was asked to leave the property. As the row escalated Engert grabbed a sword which had been found in the loft and struck him on the side of the head, the court heard.

Engert, now living at Deeping Close in Southampton, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

Richard Tutt, mitigating, said his client never intended to inflict such a serious injury and was "devastated" at the harm he had caused.

He added: "It was a truly terrible incident which will stay with Brandon Engert and Jon Barnes for the rest of their lives. It should never have happened."

Hampshire Chronicle:

The defendant sat with his head bowed throughout the case and wept as he was sentenced to nine years in a Young Offenders' Institute.

Judge Christopher Parker described the victim's injuries as "utterly horrendous".

He told Engert: "The sword not only sliced through his face, cheek and eye but also his skull, causing critical and life-changing injuries from which he will never recover.

"There was no provocation, certainly nothing to justify what you did."

Describing it as an isolated incident the judge added: "I have no doubt that you bitterly and utterly regret what you did to Jon Barnes."

Engert's relatives were sitting in the public gallery and shouted "love you" as he was led away to start his sentence.