Man, 31, dropped bowling ball on council worker's head

Man, 31, dressed as the Joker during three-month crime spree before dropping a BOWLING BALL on a council worker’s head causing life-changing brain injury

  • Damien Hammond, 31, from Nottingham hurled ball at council worker’s head
  • Victim collapsed and rushed to hospital for a fractured skull and brain trauma 
  • Council worker had been clearing up a TV below his flat when item was thrown 
  • On Friday Hammond was found guilty of grievous bodily harm for the attack 

Damien Hammond (pictured), 31, from Nottingham, hurled the bowling ball at the council worker’s head  on December 30, 2019

A man who dressed as The Joker to terrorise shop staff during a three-month rampage fractured a man’s skull by dropping a bowling ball on him from an upstairs window.

Damien Hammond, 31, who had smoked synthetic class-B drug mamba for three days prior to the attack in Nottingham, caused the council worker to fall to the floor with a large wound to his head as blood streamed down his face.  

Hammond had been shouting at two council workers who were clearing up a TV below his flat on December 30, 2019, when he hurled the ball, which was wrapped in a pair of jeans, at the local authority employee’s head.

The victim collapsed on the pavement and was treated in hospital for serious injuries including a fractured skull and brain trauma.      

After the emergency services arrived a stand-off ensued between police officers and Hammond, who refused to come down and threw down more items.   

Hours later he emerged on to the window ledge and threatened officers with a hammer.

He eventually dropped down from the window ledge at 2:30pm and was arrested.    

Hammond, who had previously appeared in a police mugshot in a distinctive purple jacket, green shirt and makeup to mimic the comic book villain, was found guilty of grievous bodily harm at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday and admitted affray.

Hammond had been shouting at two council workers who were clearing up a TV below his flat when he hurled the ball, which was wrapped in a pair of jeans

He was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on January 29, 2021.   

Providing earlier evidence to the jury of Hammond’s reaction in the moments following the attack, Judge Sampson said the defendant ‘heard two thuds’.

Quoting the defendant, Judge Sampson said: ‘I heard two thuds and knew it wasn’t right. 

‘The victim was hitting the floor when I arrived at the window, and I was scared I had killed him. 

‘If someone upsets me, I react. If I had time to reflect, I wish I had grabbed some water and tipped it on them.’    

In 2018, Hammond admitted a string of charges including criminal damage, obstructing a police officer, and possessing cannabis.

He also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct towards staff in branches of Tesco Express and Shoe Zone.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard he also waved a gun-shaped cigarette lighter while standing among traffic. 

His offences took place between March and April –  just six miles away from the village of Gotham, in Nottinghamshire. 

On hearing his sentence, Hammond, who appeared in court with bright green hair, screamed: ‘Send me to prison, I don’t care.’

He was found guilty of grievous bodily harm at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday and admitted affray

Pictured: A police officer stands at the scene where the bowling ball was thrown onto the council worker

As he was led to the cells, Hammond added: ‘See what you have done, I will kill today!’ 

Hammond, who is well known around Nottingham for his obsession with Batman and The Joker, was also banned from the city centre for three years.

The court heard Hammond went on a crime wave after he was given a 21-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, on April 17.

He was spared jail on that occasion after admitting theft, possession of an offensive weapon and indecent exposure. 

The court also heard that whilst wearing clothes and makeup to look like The Joker he had a ‘sinister, aggravating effect’ on his victims.

In a report to the court, Community Protection Enforcement Officer Jeff Surgay said: ‘The defendant’s criminal conduct involving intimidating retail staff and disorderly conduct towards police officers, in one case striking an officer to the forehead whilst obstructing a drugs search, has been conducted over a prolonged period of time.

Hammond’s crime spree

August 14: Disorderly conduct toward store staff at Tesco Express.

August 15: Obstructing a police officer in St Peter’s Square.

August 23: Disorderly behaviour toward staff at Shoe Zone.

August 23: Disorderly conduct toward a police officer in South Parade.

October 9: Possession of cannabis in Collin Street.

October 9: Disorderly conduct in Collin Street. 

‘That, together with him altering his appearance to resemble ”The Joker” appears to be calculated to induce fear into members of the public and retail staff in the city centre.

‘His actions had the capacity to endanger retail staff and other innocent parties nearby.

‘It’s clear that action needed to be taken to prevent his continued criminal and anti-social behaviour.’

The court was told Hammond, of no fixed address, had already been banned from the intu Victoria Centre until April 2021 at the previous court sentencing in April this year. 

Efforts had also been made to provide support and help him escape his spiral of worsening behaviour.

The new three-year Criminal Behaviour Order bans him from entering the entire city centre.

Inspector Anwaar Ahmed, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘Hammond has been a persistent offender in the city centre and his behaviour has not only caused distress to shop workers and members of the public but has also escalated to him being disorderly and obstructive toward police officers.

‘Despite being offered support from partner agencies and previously being given a second chance by the court his offending continued.

‘It is very rare for someone to be banned from the entire city centre but when necessary we and our partner agencies will take all steps available to us to prevent this kind of behaviour.’

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