Private school smashed skulls

Student at £43,000 a year private school ‘smashed the skulls’ of two students with hammer

The 17-year-old also tried to kill a teacher in ‘horrific attack’

A 17-year-old student at a £43,000 a year private school is currently on trial after he smashed the skulls of two other students with a hammer in a “horrific attack” as they were sleeping before trying to kill a teacher.

The student, who was studying at Blundell’s private school in Devon, was charged with three counts of attempted murder against two boys and their school housemaster Henry Roffe-Silvester after a witness described the incident as a “bloodbath”.

The student was wearing only his boxers and claimed he was sleepwalking when he carried out the attacks. He told the court he had the hammers to “prepare for the zombie apocalypse.”

The two students were taken to hospital in life-threatening conditions after the attack in June last year and will never fully recover, the court heard.

“Attacks like this do not happen without long-term consequences” Lawyer James Dawes KC said as he added: “Sadly neither of them will ever be the same again as they were prior to the attack. Both heads are permanently damaged and cognitive functions are not as they were.”

But neither students have any memory of the attacks, only going to bed and waking up in hospital days later.


During the trial at Exeter Crown Court, James Dawes KC said: “The defendant decided to put into action a plan that he had been fermenting in his head for some time. That plan was to kill (the two boys) and he decided to do it while they slept in their own beds – and he decided to do it with a hammer.

“It is not known which boy he attacked first. He was in possession of four claw hammers. A heavy hammer with a flat striking side and a claw at the back and he had four of them. He selected a hammer and he quietly climbed up onto the top of the first cabin bed. The boys were asleep and they both had heads on pillows and then he smashed the hammers into their heads as they slept. Multiple times.

“He also hit arms and backs, he didn’t just use the flat end of the hammer, he used the claw as well to strike these boys. These blows smashed their skulls. It broke through the skull driving pieces of bone into the brain. Blows to the back of one of the victims damaged his spleen, and broke a rib with its edge puncturing one of his lungs.

“Blood went everywhere”, he added.

Private school smashed skulls

Via YouTube

He then approached the second student who was also asleep in the dorm, climbed up and “smashed a hammer down onto his head multiple times as he slept”, the lawyer told the jury.

“Those blows broke his skull, driving pieces of bone into his brain and the membranes around the brain. He hit his upper arm with the hammer, claw side. You may think whoever does that intends to kill the person he is attacking – they were sleeping at the time.

“Astonishingly they both survived these attacks. Their survival is nothing to do with the defendant or his actions – but everything to do with the speed at which the 999 call was made by another boy at the school, who acted very responsibly and quickly.”

He added: “However attacks like this do not happen without long-term consequences and there has been for both boys. Sadly neither of them will ever be the same again as they were prior to the attack. Both heads are permanently damaged and cognitive functions are not as they were. Mercifully neither has any memories of these attacks – they were both asleep.

“However the investigation has been able to reconstruct a great deal of what happened to them – from examination of their injuries and the scene and what happened next. The bleeding was extensive. The scene in that room has been described by those who saw it as horrific.”

Private school smashed skulls

Via YouTube

But after attacking the two students with the hammer, he then moved on to a teacher, Henry Roffe-Silvester who went upstairs to investigate the noise.

The room was dark and he had no time to investigate because as soon as he opened the door the student attacked him with a hammer. “He only knew he had been hit after he had been hit and did not see the blow coming,” the lawyer said.

“He was initially hit on the top of the head and a second blow struck him down onto the head. Mr Roffe-Silvester retreated down the corridor with (the defendant) striking him as he went down. Aiming at his face and head. Blood was pouring down his face and he was shouting at him to stop.”

But he did not stop and managed to get six blows to his head before the teacher managed to grab the hammer and stop the attack. He described the student as “expressionless” and said he “appeared to be on a mission” until he finally calmed down and squatted against a wall.

The jury heard the student say he was stressed about a number of issues – including with his brother and owing money to a girl. He told one boy he had hammers because he was “watching horror movies lately and had them to protect himself.”

He also said he had them to “prepare for the zombie apocalypse.”

The student’s trial is currently ongoing.

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Featured image before edits via SWNS.