A MAN hit a stranger in the face with a hammer and stabbed him with a screwdriver.

Dylan Reece, 23, beat Darren Marsh with a claw hammer outside the Spar shop in Chorley Old Road before pulling out the screwdriver.

Mr Marsh needed nine stitches to his face, suffered a collapsed lung and continues to have difficulties in day-to-day life.

Reece, of Shrewley Common, Shrewley in Warwickshire, was sentenced for this and stealing a car which had been for sale on Gumtree at Bolton Crown Court on Monday.

James Preece, prosecuting, told the court that on October 9, 2017 at about 10.30pm Mr Marsh went to the Spar with his partner and Reece had been outside with his partner. When Mr Marsh and his partner came out again Reece’s partner pretended to be a police officer telling Mr Marsh “you’ve not got tax or insurance for your car”.

Mr Marsh swore at the woman and told her to “go and mither someone else”.

Reece said “who do you think you are talking to my missus like that” the court heard before threatening to smash Mr Marsh’s car up.

Mr Preece told the court: “The defendant pulled a claw hammer out of his coat. The complainant described how he was hit in the face with the hammer.”

Reece’s partner took the hammer from him and he then produced a screwdriver to continue his attack.

Mr Preece said: “The complainant describes two blows to the face then going to the floor, trying to get up and further blows to the back. He stood up and there were further blows to the upper arm area.”

Mr Marsh escaped to the middle of the road and eventually Reece fled the scene.

Ronan Maguire, defending, told the court how Reece had come to the UK from Ireland in 2016 and worked for a recycling centre in Horwich and in a factory making furniture before working nights for Hermes.

Mr Maguire said: “He struggled with the night shifts and lost that job, he began to experience financial difficulties... he began to drink quite heavily.”

The court heard Reece had drunk around a litre of vodka before the attack took place.

Mr Maguire told the court Reece had the hammer and screwdriver because he had lost the keys to his flat and was getting in by other means.

Reece also pleaded guilty to the robbery of a car on December 3, 2017. He and another man tricked Sean Roddy into letting them view a Vauxhall Vectra he had put up for sale on Gumtree. They asked for a test drive but Mr Roddy refused.

Mr Roddy was pulled to the ground and Reece and the other man jumped in the car, Mr Roddy dived into the back seat and was driven off in his own car for a short time before falling out of the car when it took a sharp turn.

Reece and the car were picked up by police in Halifax four days later.

Mr Maguire told the court Reece had not gone to the address knowing he was to take part in the theft but “took an active part”.

Reece was given a 64 month sentence for the hammer attack and 16 months for his part in the car robbery.

He was to serve his sentences consecutively as a six year eight month sentence.