A 16-YEAR-OLD allegedly tried to kill two boys as they slept at a public school in Devon during a “horrifying” hammer attack.

The teenager inflicted life-threatening head wounds on the 15 and 16-year-olds who were in cabin bunks at a boarding house at Blundell’s School in Tiverton in what was said to have been a pre-planned attack.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court was told the defendant, now aged 17, “fermented” a plan to kill the boys and acquired four different claw hammers, of which he used at least two during the attack.

The 17-year-old has gone on trial accused of attempting the murder the two boys and housemaster Henry Roffe-Silvester at around 12.50am during the night of June 9 last year.

He smashed the skulls of both of the boys and used both the flat end and claw end of the hammers to cause other injuries to their bodies. Both now suffer from cognitive issues as a result of their brain injuries.

Blundell’s is a co-educational private board and day school which educates pupils, many of whom come from all over Devon as well as others who come from all over the world.

Mr Janes Dawes, KC, prosecuting, said their survival was the result of another pupil calling the emergency services very shortly after the attack and the skills of the paramedics who treated them at the scene and surgeons who operated in hospital.

He said the two injured boys were asleep at the time of the attack but the defendant was awake and intent of carrying out a plan which he had been considering for some time.

He said: “This crime was horrifying. He decided to put into action a plan which he had been fermenting in his head for some time. The plan was to kill the two other boys. He decided to do it whilst they slept and he decided to do it with a hammer.

“He had four claw hammers in his possession. He selected more than one hammer and climbed on top of the first cabin bed. The boys who were asleep. He smashed the hammer into their heads multiple times. He also hit their arms and their backs.

“The blows smashed their skulls and broke through their skulls forcing pieces of bone into their brains. You may think that whoever does that had an intention to kill the persons who were attacked.

“Astonishingly, they both survived the attack. Their survival had nothing to do with this defendant and everything to do with the speed of the 999 call and the skill of the paramedics and doctors.”

Mr Dawes said the room where the attacks took place was covered in blood and described as horrific. He said housemaster Mr Roffe-Sylvester heard noise from the room but was attacked as he opened the door.

He was hit with a hammer six times as he fled down a corridor but was able to disarm the defendant and despite having head injuries.

He said the defendant appeared expressionless, neutral and had an unsettling appearance and later told him he had gone to bed after watching a movie.

He told another boy he was stressed out by schoolwork and collected the hammers because he was scared after watching horror films and had then to protect himself from a “zombie apocalypse”.

Mr Dawes said the defendant’s claim to have been asleep was not true because checks showed he had been using his iPad until very shortly before the attack.

The trial continues and the opening is due to last for the rest of the day.