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Man sentenced to hospital order following attempted murder of mother and daughter

News   •   Jul 11, 2019 14:53 BST

Joe Xuereb

A man has been sentenced to a hospital order following an unprovoked attack on two women.

Joe Xuereb, 28 (08.02.91) of Adderley Gardens, Eltham appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 11 July where he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of an offensive weapon.

He was sentenced to an indefinite hospital order under sections 37/41 of the Mental Health Act.

The court heard that on Sunday, 19 August 2018, the victims – a woman aged 64 and her daughter aged 30 – were outside of a block of flats on Adderley Gardens, Eltham just after midday when Xuereb approached them from behind.

Xuereb, armed with a hammer, repeatedly struck both victims over the head and face in a sustained and unprovoked attack which left both victims unconscious.

As they lay prone in the street, Xuereb continued to strike them both in the head and face before he fled the scene.

Following the arrival of the emergency services, the victims were taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Both remained in hospital for a number of weeks and were left with life changing injuries.

Officers issued an urgent appeal for information and Xuereb was identified by a member of the public in Bexley later the same day.

He was arrested at 19:36hrs and later charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon.

On sentence, His Honour Judge Richard Marks said that if not for the presence of psychiatric illness, a life sentence would have been inevitable.

Detective Sergeant Matt Deans, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “This was a brutal and unprovoked attack which both victims are incredibly lucky to have survived.

“This horrific incident has had a significant impact on both of their lives and we hope this conviction will bring them some kind of closure.”