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Lincoln hammer attack: 'I hope you had a smashing good time' text message sent court hears

By SMorris_LE  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

Birmingham Crown Court

The man who was driving the car from which a hammer was taken to attack Scunthorpe rugby player Matthew Probert has told a court he had been using the tool to search for loose change.

He also said he regretted sending a text message to Bradley saying he hoped he had “a smashing good time” the following day.

“I feel very bad about that,” Daniel Burrell said.

“I know I shouldn’t have made that joke had I really known the truth I would never have sent that text.”

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Daniel Burrell, 22, of St Nicholas Street told Birmingham Crown Court he was a keen player of fruit machines and would often have one pound coins in his pockets.

He said that when wearing jogging bottoms the coins would fall out beneath the driver’s seat and he had been trying to retrieve them.

“The hammer came out of my car but I did not know he (Bradley) had taken it,” he said.

“I had bought it because I had to get my tyres changed and I couldn’t do it.”

“I used to play fruit machines and always had pound coins in my pockets. I would wear jogging bottoms and when I was sitting down the coins would fall out under the driver’s seat and I would try to get them.

“I had been trying everything to get them out and I tried to use the claw hammer to lift the carpet up and a screw driver to flick them out.”

Matthew Probert was left with a claw hammer embedded in his skull in Lincoln city centre on September 1 last year.

Burrell who denies assisting or encouraging an offence of grievous bodily harm with intent told the court the first he knew of the attack was around 1.10am.

He said he received a call from Alex Taylor’s landline when he was told Kris Bradley had “bashed” someone.

“He gave me some sort of account that Kris had bashed a guy and he fell on the floor,” he said.

“I believe he may have said he dropped to the floor like a sack of spuds.”

Burrell told the jury that it was not until 1.32am when he spoke to Bradley that he knew the hammer had been taken from his car and used to hit Mr Probert and that he had “absolutely not” given him permission to take it.

Bradley 23, of Kent Street, denies attempting to murder Mr Probert.

Alex Taylor 22, of Eastbourne Street, has already admitted encouraging or assisting an offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The trial continues.

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