Hammer attacker fails in appeal court hearing

Crime scene investigators outside the Martens' home in St Annes
Crime scene investigators outside the Martens' home in St Annes
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A mentally ill son who was jailed for the grisly attempted murder of his 97-year-old dad has failed in an Appeal Court challenge to his prison sentence.

Janek Martens was found in a pool of blood at the home he shared in St Annes with depressed son Stefan Martens in March last year.

Stefan Martens

Stefan Martens

The 58-year-old son had attacked the Second World War pilot with a hammer and saw, leaving him with a catalogue of terrible injuries.

He was convicted of attempted murder at Preston Crown Court in June last year and jailed for 14 years.

However, the crown court judge made another order, sending Martens, of Blackpool Road North, immediately to a secure mental hospital.

On Monday, lawyers for Martens argued that his mental illness was so severe that he should not have received a prison sentence at all.

What happened was a pure accident. I love Stefan and I always will. I don’t want him to go to prison

Janek Martens

But Lord Justice McCombe, sitting in London with Mr Justice Jeremy Baker and Mr Justice Lewis, rejected the appeal.

The court heard Martens was assessed as having suffered from a number of psychiatric problems.

He spoke of feeling deeply depressed and suicidal and worried that he was not fit to look after his father.

Although he knew he had harmed his father, he could not remember how he had done it, he said.

His lawyers argued that a prison sentence with a mental hospital order attached was not in the best interests either of Martens or the public.

If mental health treatment proved successful, he would be moved to prison, where he would be prone to a relapse, the Appeal Court was told.

If then released from custody, he might not have the same support as he would if he had been under a standard hospital order.

Giving judgment, Lord Justice McCombe said: “The question for us is whether this sentence could be said to be manifestly excessive because of the potential detriments to his health and the safety of the public if he were to be returned to prison and ultimately released into the community without the special mental health supervision were his release to be from hospital detention.

“In our judgment, the judge cannot be said to have passed an excessive sentence by doing what he did.”

The appeal was dismissed.

Father did not want son to go to prison

Janek Martens told a court in November he did not want to see his son jailed.

But Stefan Martens was detained for 14 years after being found guilty of what a judge called a ‘ferocious’ attack.

The judge at Preston Crown court imposed what is known as a hybrid order’ on Martens was jailed as well as being sent to a psychiatric unit for treatment.

Stefan Martens struck his father with a hammer and cut his throat with a saw. Despite suffering a heart attack, Mr Martens survived the horrific attack.

Paramedics found the father lying on a rear dining room floor, with blood all over his face and arms.

But Martens father told the court: “I don’t think Stefan should be punished at all.

“What happened was a pure accident. I love Stefan and I always will. I don’t want him to go to prison.”