Boy locked up for unprovoked machete attack on Polish man in Walsall
Victim Szyman Palucki may never recover full use of his left hand.
A machete-wielding 16-year-old who came close to killing a Polish immigrant in an unprovoked street attack has been locked up for four years.
Szyman Palucki was in Walsall town centre with friends – one of whom was celebrating her 18th birthday – when he was deliberately targeted by a gang of thugs, a judge heard.
There was an ‘unwelcoming atmosphere’ in which racist taunts had been hurled at the five-strong Polish party as the group of young men started to tail them, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Moments later Mr Palucki was hit on the head with a baseball bat and the 16-year-old slashed him twice with a large machete, explained Mr Richard Franck, prosecuting.
The first blow scythed into the victim’s left wrist cutting through tendons, nerves and part of a major artery before the second carved a wound into his right arm.
The youth fled from the scene during the early hours of January 14 in a black Fiat Punto that was later stopped by police who found him holding the bloodstained machete in the back of the vehicle.
Mr Palucki was bleeding heavily when taken to hospital where he underwent a six-hour operation.
The forklift truck driver later told police: “I thought I would die if I did not try to defend myself so put my hands up to protect my head and neck.
“The person with the machete did not care what he hit. I was told I could have lost my hand, which scared me.”
There is a danger he will never recover full use of his left hand.
Mr David Iles, defending the Wolverhampton youth who cannot be identified because of his age, said: “He was egged on by gang culture and emboldened by the others.”
The defendant claimed to have been given the machete by another member of the gang.
He admitted wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon.
He was detained for four years in a Youth Offenders Institution with two years monitoring on release. Judge Amjad Nawaz said: “It is only by dint of fortune that the injured party did not suffer more significant injury or even a fatality.”
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