A CHESHIRE teenager is today starting the first day of a 14-year jail term after horrifically attacking a man with a hammer leaving him unrecognisable except for his tattoo.

Jack Halliwell was found guilty last month of attempted murder before he was sentenced yesterday at Chester Crown Court.

On July 26 last year, the 17-year-old repeatedly hit his 40-year-old victim with the weapon up to 12 times in a two-minute frenzy which left the man blind.

The attack took place inside a flat in Arnold Street, Nantwich, where the victim was found four hours later following an anonymous call to police.

Following the sentencing, Detective Inspector Claire Jesson, of Crewe CID, said: “This was a truly horrific and distressing attack, which will stay with the victim, his family and the officers who attended the crime scene, for the rest of their lives.

“He was beaten so brutally that he was left unrecognisable and could only be identified by his tattoo – and then he was left alone in a room in severe pain with horrific injuries.

“I am pleased the jury found the Halliwell guilty and justice has been served. However the victim’s life has changed forever and he will continue to be on a long road to recovery and will never regain his sight.

“I commend my detectives who have worked tirelessly to secure this outcome on what was a complex investigation.”

The court heard the incident took place 4.30pm when the victim arrived at the flat where he was subjected to the brutal attack that left his face covered in blood and severely swollen.

Halliwell had been using the flat as a place to deal drugs and it is believed a dispute had taken place between him and the victim over a debt.

Immediately after the attack the teenager took a photo of the victim as he lay on the floor and then fled the property. He ran to a nearby address, called for a taxi and waited to be collected.

Ten minutes after leaving the taxi he sent the photo he had taken of the victim to a contact on social media.

Shortly before 5pm two women attended the flat and saw the badly beaten victim in the bedroom lying on the bed. He had a hammer underneath his feet and they tried to help him.

At 8.20pm police received an anonymous call to say a man had been attacked and was in a bedroom.

When officers arrived they found the victim in the bedroom with severe injuries to his head and face – he could only be identified by a tattoo on his body.

What followed was a meticulous investigation to review CCTV footage, forensic analysis and conduct house-to-house enquiries.

This led to the Halliwell being identified and a sustained manhunt led to his arrest in Gorton, Manchester, on July 31.

He had tried to burn the clothes he was wearing on the day of the incident but a jacket seized from his address had traces of the victim’s blood on it.

The teenager was subsequently charged with attempted murder.

A second man, aged 42, was found not guilty of attempted murder.