Appleby was sentenced to more than five years imprisonment after admitting wounding with intent
A violent thug has been jailed after he attacked his friend with a machete – leaving him unable to hold his newborn baby.
Benjamin Appleby wielded the weapon inside his living room after a night of socialising in February 2019 turned sour.
Despite having been friends with his victim for a number of years, the 29-year-old attacker suddenly became incensed and accused his mate of stealing one of his girlfriend’s rings.
He then picked up a machete and swung it – with the blade nearly severing the victim’s finger after he had held up his hands to defend himself.
Appleby initially distanced himself from the assault after police attended the scene on Cheadle Road and found the victim unconscious. But officers went on to find a machete hidden down the back of his sofa and the victim’s blood all over the lounge.
The attacker was arrested at the scene, and with the weight of evidence against him overwhelming, Appleby later pleaded guilty to wounding with intent.
Yesterday (Monday) he was jailed for five years and three months at Newcastle Crown Court.
Detective Chief Inspector Sean Mcguigan, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a vicious attack that has had a significant impact on the victim who thought he was in a safe environment with his friend.
“What followed was totally inexcusable and there can be little doubt that the streets of Sunderland are a safer place with Appleby behind bars.
“I hope this outcome helps give the victim some comfort and that it acts as a serious lesson to anyone who carries and uses a blade – you will be caught, you will be arrested, and you will be brought to justice.”
In a statement prepared for court, the victim revealed his dismay and shock at Appleby’s actions, who he considered up until that point “one of my closest friends”.
He said: “When the assault happened my partner was due to have a baby, and now my baby has been born, I have been unable to help look after her.
“I could not hold, carry, help feed or bath her due to the injuries to my hand. I am still receiving treatment and it is still likely that I may lose my finger.”
Appleby, of Scoreby Close, Sunderland, now begins a custodial term.