TWO brothers launched a savage attack on a Lebanese refugee inside a shop while one of them was armed with a hammer.

Michael Perry, 23, was jailed and ex-British Army solider Lawrence Perry, 20, given a suspended custodial sentence for their brutal assault on Abdul El-Hreich.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths told Newport Crown Court how the siblings had set upon their victim in the city’s Skinner Street on September 4 in broad daylight.

Judge Paul Thomas QC heard how Mr El-Hreich had to be taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital by ambulance after suffering an 8cm wound to his head.

The court was told the motive behind the brothers’ attack was unclear although it was said there was “history” between them and the victim.

Mr Griffiths said the assault took place in a shop in front of members of the public after Mr El-Hreich had returned to pick up his mobile phone which was being repaired.

The prosecutor read out a victim impact statement from the complainant in which he said: “Since being assaulted, I feel vulnerable and paranoid … I am a Lebanese refugee who has lived here for 20 years.

“This was an unprovoked attack. I have a scar on my hairline.”

He said because of the blemish, “People think I am a fighter and a bad man. It will mean it is harder for me to find a job in the future.”

Michael Perry, of Davies Square, Newport, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.

His younger brother, of Clarence Place, Newport, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Michael Perry, Mr Griffiths said, had 21 previous convictions for 13 offences, including possessing a knife in a public place, battery and assaulting a police officer.

Lawrence Perry had none, save for a caution for possessing an offensive weapon.

Stephen Thomas, mitigating for Michael Perry, said his client was remorseful for what he had done.

Lawrence Perry’s barrister Gareth Williams said his client wished to re-join the army as an infantryman and felt “shame” for his role in the attack.

Judge Thomas said: “You both attacked a man for no apparent reason in broad daylight … There was an element of planning.

“Whatever the problem between you, there is no excuse for the gratuitous violence which you used.”

Michael Perry was jailed for 16 months and Lawrence Perry given a 10-month custodial sentence, suspended for one year.

The younger brother must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was made subject of a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement.