'You're a Selfish, Dangerous and Cowardly Man.'

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ben Glaze South Wales Echo

Hammer attacker Dominic Abdi was today starting a life sentence for a "horrifying" assault on a harmless pensioner.

Heroin and crack cocaine addict Abdi, 34, shook his head and stared at the ceiling as a Cardiff Crown Court jury unanimously convicted him of attempting to murder retired merchant seaman Bobby Burton at his flat in Cardiff's Butetown last May.

Jailing him for a minimum of eight years, Judge John Curran told Abdi: "You're a dangerous, amoral, unscrupulous, selfish and cowardly individual and a thoroughly dangerous man.

"In my judgement you need to be detained for a very long period."

Because of his history of violence, former sailor Abdi, of Chester Street, Grangetown, Cardiff, received an indeterminate sentence for public protection - meaning he will only be released if a parole board thinks it is safe.

Judge Curran said: "That may be very much longer than that period of eight years which I have fixed."

The jury of seven men and five women cleared Abdi's 19-year-old step-niece Vanessa Akbar, of De Burgh Street, Riverside, Cardiff, of attempting to pervert the course of justice by throwing out his bloodstained holdall.

Abdi's three-week trial heard he went to Mr Burton's third-floor, two-bedroom flat in Loudoun House planning to steal his pension.

Medical experts said the attacker rained down blows on Mr Burton's head with a claw hammer. One doctor described his skull as "like a broken eggshell".

"Nobody knows to this day exactly what transpired in the flat other than you, but it's clear Bobby Burton must have resisted in some way," Judge Curran told Abdi.

"You subjected him to a brutal and horrifying attack with the clear intention of killing him."

Mr Burton, a paranoid schizophrenic, survived despite medics' predictions. …