Man, 27, hit sleeping victim with metal bar in ‘murderous’ Great Yarmouth attack, court hears
PUBLISHED: 09:45 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:45 20 August 2014
Archant Norfolk © 2014
A masked man crept into a Great Yarmouth home to batter a sleeping victim with a metal bar, a jury heard.
The attacker had attended a birthday party at the Albion Road terrace earlier that day, where the prosecution claim there was an argument about the choice of music.
Everyone at the get-together had been drinking, the court heard.
While the people involved thought the argument was a “storm in a teacup”, Clive Malone returned that evening armed with a heavy weapon, Norwich Crown Court heard yesterday.
Malone, 27, denies attempting to murder Russell Lambert, who was 55 when he was attacked on February 1.
Russell Lambert had travelled to Yarmouth from London to surprise his brother Tommy, 62, who was to celebrate his birthday on February 2.
Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, said that Russell Lambert had brought a laptop with him, with “old music” such as Frank Sinatra on it that he and his brother enjoyed.
But he said there was a dispute when Malone tried to change the music when Russell Lambert went to the toilet.
Mr Jackson said the incident appeared to “fester” for Malone, and he returned to the house shortly before 9pm.
The Lambert brothers had been asleep in the living room, with Russell Lambert on the sofa, after the party had fizzled out, Mr Jackson said.
Malone, armed with a metal bar and wearing a hooded top and a scarf over his face, entered through the unlocked back door, the court heard.
“In short order he launched an attack on the then 55-year-old Russell Lambert, probably as he lay sleeping on the sofa,” said Mr Jackson. “The focus and the brunt of the attack was concentrated on Mr Lambert’s head - the part the defendant knew to be vulnerable to life-threatening injuries.
“Remarkably to date Mr Lambert has survived the murderous attack.”
He said Russell Lambert must have been aware of the attack as he had injuries to the backs of his hands, where he had put them over his head “in a vain attempt to protect himself”.
The attack caused “appalling” injuries to Russell Lambert, who suffered traumatic brain damage, the court heard.
He is unable to move to feed himself, walk or communicate properly.
Mr Jackson said that after the attack, Malone went to a bar on Britannia Pier with his girlfriend.
Malone, who was living in Paget Road at the time, also attacked Tommy Lambert and stole Russell Lambert’s laptop.
Malone had initially denied all charges, but on the first day of his trial admitted aggravated burglary and GBH with intent to both men.
He denies attempted murder.
The family of Russell Lambert were in court yesterday, including his brother Tommy who gave evidence.
He described waking, believing he was sweating, before realising it was blood on his face.
He said he saw the figure of Malone in the glow from a halogen heater in the lounge.
“All I could see was his eyes, but I know his eyes,” he said.
Gary Walker, a friend of Tommy’s, found the scene when he visited the house the next morning.
“I’ve seen horror films before, but I’ve never seen nothing like that,” he said.
He recalled “gurgling” noises coming from Russell Lambert, and said he was covered in blood.
Malone had originally claimed he had gone for a kebab, went to sleep at his house then went to a pub later that night.
The metal bar and the laptop have not been recovered, but Mr Jackson said Malone had gone for a walk to Caister the next day and alleged this was to dispose of evidence.
Malone’s trousers, jacket cuff and hooded top were found to have Russell Lambert’s blood on them, the court heard.
The trial continues.