FOUR violent offenders have been jailed after a man was hacked with shovels, leaving him with severe injuries.

Mark Farrow, John Thomas Hardy, Gary McDonald and Walter McDonald were all described by witnesses as “like a pack of hyenas to meat” during the incident in Sowerby, near Thirsk.

The victim’s van and car, which contained young children, were also smashed up and one of the group threatened to chop his hand off following a dispute with the four men.

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Yesterday (January 18), a judge jailed Farrow, 45 of Sowerby; Hardy, 46, of Sowerby; Gary McDonald, 24, from Thirsk and Walter McDonald, 24, of Sowerby for a total of almost eight years after they all pleaded guilty to violent disorder offences as Bradford Crown Court.

Each was also given a restraining order to prevent them from making any contact with the victim for the next 15 years.

They were arrested following an extensive investigation into the incident, which happened last year, by detectives at Hambleton & Richmondshire CID.

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Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Martin Willoughby said: “This was a horrific and deeply traumatic attack which left the victim with severe cuts and bruising to his body.

“His attackers were cowards, using weapons and ganging up on an unarmed man, beating him repeatedly in front of his wife and young children before turning their attentions to his wife and damaging her vehicle.

“I am satisfied that this investigation has resulted in custodial sentences, ensuring that our communities are safer when people like this are brought to justice and locked away.”

Gary McDonald was jailed for 30 months, Walter McDonald for two years, Mark Farrow for 20 months and Thomas Hardy for 20 months.

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