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Violent Flint gangster locked up indefinitely

Peter Hannah

VICTIMS of an violent gangster who slashed a man’s face with a Stanley knife and then went on the run for four months are being urged to come forward after he was jailed indefinitely.

Police made the appeal as brutal knifeman Peter Hannah, 40, from Flint, was put behind bars for the public’s protection for a sickening attack on vulnerable Stephen Tully, 32, at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.

Ruthless Hannah carved open both sides of Mr Tully’s face, leaving him fighting for his life.

The gangland figure then tried to evade justice by attempting to buy off his victim with £30,000. When his plot failed he went on the run before officers captured him in York following a high-speed chase after he had appeared on Crimewatch.

Ordering him to serve a minimum of seven years before he can even be considered for parole, Judge Adrian Lyon said: "This was an appalling offence that could in fact have resulted in far more serious consequences than in fact occurred."

Judge Lyon told Hannah his victim ‘could easily have died’. "The amount of blood he was losing was substantial," he added.

After the sentence, Merseyside Police’s Det Insp Dave McCaughrean praised urged anyone who has been a victim of Hannah to come forward.

He said: "Quite clearly Peter Hannah was involved in organised crime and was an organised criminal.

"Clearly it is not the first time he has been involved in assaulting people like this. The message we want to send out is that anybody who has been assaulted by Peter Hannah or any of his associates can have the confidence to come forward, can have the confidence that justice will be done and can have the confidence they will be supported.

"Merseyside Police will leave no stone unturned in bringing organised criminals to justice."

Zillah Williams, prosecuting, told how Hannah dished out the gangland punishment because he believed Mr Tully had stolen £10,000 of drug money from him.

The pair agreed to meet and Mr Tully, who has learning difficulties and a personality disorder, pleaded innocence. But Hannah and two unknown accomplices drove Mr Tully to a remote location off the M53 and carried out their brutal attack.

Miss Williams told how the three men punched and kicked Mr Tully, before he was stabbed and slashed in the lower back.

Hannah’s two accomplices then held Mr Tully down, said Miss Williams.

She added: "Hannah produced a craft knife, clicked open the blade, carefully held the knife near to the artery on his forehead and cut, first down one side of his face and then down the other side. While this was going on he was saying: ‘Take it like a man’.

"The immediate effect was that blood was flooding from the wounds. They kicked the complainant and then told him to run. Not surprisingly that is what he did. He ran to the nearby Asda. People were shocked."

Mr Tully suffered two 20cm wounds down both sides of his face which will leave permanent scars. The court was given a victim impact statement detailing his ‘great anger and loathing’ towards his attacker.

Hannah, of Chester Road, Flint, was convicted by a jury in his absence of wounding with intent on February 15 last year, possession of an offensive weapon and perverting the course of justice.

Desmond Lennon, defending, said Hannah, whose 15-year-old son was in court, did not accept responsibility for the attack, but accepted the jury’s verdict.