A JEALOUS gunman pistol-whipped his ex-partner’s friend, leaving him with a blood-soaked head, and then fled to Thailand.

Cameron Morris planned his attack on victim Kevin Stanley, booking his airline ticket out of the country days beforehand.

He then recruited another man and they turned up at Mr Stanley’s home armed with realistic looking imitation guns.

Morris used his weapon to pistol-whip his 32-year-old victim, leaving him with five head wounds needing a total of 18 stitches.

“The incident ended with Mr Morris cocking the hand gun and pointing it at Mr Stanley and saying words to the effect that next time he would shoot him,” Joe Allman, prosecuting, told Bolton Crown Court.

Earlier that day, on March 17, 2019, Morris had sent his victim as series of threatening messages, including one which read, “I’m going to blow your brains clean out”.

The court heard that Morris had been with his partner, Jodie Hobson for 13 years since they were in their early teens, but spilt up and in February and March 2019 she began meeting Mr Stanley.

But, on March 13, 2019, Morris turned up at Mr Stanley’s home, a shared house in Plodder Lane, Farnworth, and there was a confrontation and "scuffle".

Four days later, Mr Stanley went to the kitchen to make a hot drink, and when he returned to his ground floor room, two men were standing there armed with guns.

“They looked real to Mr Stanley,” said Mr Allman.

He recognised Morris and tried to back away into the hallway but Morris attacked him on the stairs before the second gunman intervened and the pair fled.

“Police arrived and found Mr Stanley covered in blood,” said Mr Allman.

Morris was arrested at Manchester Airport on March 29 after arriving back in the UK from Thailand.

He initially claimed he could not have committed the crime on March 17 as he had flown to Amsterdam and then onto Thailand two days earlier.

But enquiries revealed he had booked his trip on March 11 and boarded his flight at the Manchester airport just hours after the attack.

Morris, aged 29, of Pear Tree Drive, Farnworth, pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Andrew Scott, defending, stressed that Morris’ character references “all present a picture contrary to the offences he has committed”.

He added: “The offences are borne out of, in one word, jealousy, no less.”

Mr Scott said that, at the time, Morris’ life was in a downward spiral and he had been drinking and taking drugs.

“He acted in a frightening and very nasty way,” he said, but stressed that Morris has now turned his life around, has full-time work and has a new relationship.

Judge Paul Lawton sentenced Morris to two years and six months in prison.

He told him: “It is quite clear that in the Spring of 2019 you had become obsessively jealous of Kevin Stanley, who you believed was intimately involved with your partner.

“Even if he was, she was not your personal property and she was entitled to move on with her life.”

The judge told Morris that his behaviour “escalates this into premier league criminal conduct”.

He added: “You proceeded to pistol-whip Mr Stanley about his head causing quite appalling injuries, all of the time him terrified about whether he was going to be shot.

“It was a planned and savage beating — there is no other way to describe it.

“I would be wholly failing in my public duty if there were not an immediate sentence of imprisonment in this case.”