A young man and his teen pal attacked a 65-year-old man with a metal pole, leaving him with blood pouring from his head, a jury heard.
At the start of the trial of the pair at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, the jury was told the victim would not be giving evidence because following the daytime assault in Highfield, Hemel Hempstead, it was discovered he was suffering from the early signs of dementia and lacked the capacity to give evidence. He had also suffered with mental health problems for many years previously.
On trial are John Hancock, 20, of Bathurst Road, Hemel Hempstead, and a 16-year-old boy from the town who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
They both deny a charge of wounding with intent on January 21 last year.
The court heard that after the attack, which happened at around 1.30pm in an alleyway next to Randall Park, the victim suffered a bleed on his brain.
Prosecuting, Michael Speak said the jury would be hearing from a young girl – who knows the younger defendant – and saw the pair follow the man into the alleyway. She later called an ambulance to help him.
Mr Speak said: “By and large this attack was motiveless and done out of a need to inflict gratuitous violence on a defenceless and elderly gentleman who was walking in the alleyway.”
Giving evidence from behind a screen the girl, who was with her sister at the time of the attack, said she saw the pair enter the alleyway and had also seen the victim.
She said when the accused pair emerged from the alleyway Mr Hancock was holding a metal pole which had blood on the end.
The case continues.