Man who attacked stranger with meat cleaver in mistaken identity assault jailed for 10 years

Bradley Fenwick Credit: Northumbria Police

A vicious man is behind bars after attacking a council worker with a meat cleaver in a mistaken identity assault.

Bradley Fenwick, of Brook Court in Bedlington, launched an unprovoked attack on Ryan Woolley on Boxing Day 2020. Ryan, a joiner for Northumberland County Couincil, was repairing a window at a house, when knifeman Bradley Fenwick slashed his face and almost amputated his fingers.Newcastle Crown Court heard that Fenwick's intended target was his girlfriend's ex, who lived at the damaged house in Alnwick. The victim, Mr Woolley, will never regain full use of his hand, has a permanent scar across his face and is unsure if he will ever work again as a joiner.Former chef Fenwick was initially charged with attempted murder but later pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and having a bladed article.

Credit: Northumbria Police

Judge Robert Adams sentenced him to 10-and-a-half years behind bars and told him:

"He was doing the job he was employed to do.He was taken by surprise in that he felt a tap on the top of his shoulder. It was dark.He was immediately hit in the face by you."

Judge Adams added: "Serious injuries were caused to his face and hand."The court heard Mr Woolley, who is in his 20s, had been working at the home of a man named Ben Brown.Judge Adams added: "Having been struck multiple blows by you, you stopped at this point and questioned who he was."You had expected it to be Mr Brown. This was a premeditated attack on what you thought was Mr Brown but, in fact, you got the wrong person.

The court heard Mr Woolley needed emergency surgery after his little and middle fingers on his right hand were partially amputated. The little finger was also fractured and there was major damage to tissue and tendons.

The facial wound ran from Mr Woolley's left cheek and went through the cartilage of his nose. He had facial fractures below his eye.He has been left with a "disfiguring" scar on his face and faces further operations.Mr Woolley said in a statement: "I have accepted my hand won't get better but I still have to come to terms with this and try to adapt.

He added: "Every day is a challenge. Because of this male my life will never be the same again."Shaun Routledge, defending, said Fenwick who has previous convictions, had been "off the rails" as a younger man but had "pulled himself together then has committed this very serious offence".Mr Routledge said Fenwick sent a letter of apology to the court, has the support of his family and has worked hard in custody.Mr Routledge said Fenwick did not plan to attack a council employee and added: "He was a public sector worker but he didn't know that at the time of theincident."

Detective Constable Suzanne Davies, who led the investigation, said: “There is absolutely no place for violence in our communities.

“This was a truly appalling attack where Fenwick used a weapon to inflict serious injuries on an innocent man who was just doing his job. He proved himself to be a danger to society and there is little doubt that the streets of Northumbria are a safer place with Fenwick behind bars.

“No one would ever expect an everyday task at work to end in such devastation. I want to thank the victim and his employers for working closely with our officers to bring this case to court.