An axeman chopped off a tree surgeon’s hand as he pleaded with a gang of up 20 men to leave him and his friends alone.
The victim, a tree surgeon then aged 18, and three of his workmates were set upon by the group after a road rage row in Rochdale.
Mohammed Awais Sajid, 23, known as ‘Skinny’, was aiming for the victim’s head but cut off his hand when he moved his arms up to stop the blow.
Minshull Street Crown Court heard how Sajid wielded the axe twice in quick succession, Manchester Evening News reports.
He initially slashed the victim, who was acting as a ‘peacemaker’, in the chest, shattering his ribs and causing a collapsed lung.
Tim Storrie, prosecuting, said he followed this up with a 360 degree ‘spin of his arm’ to increase the speed and devastation of the attack.
The prosecutor said: “The blow itself was aimed at the victim’s head.
“He was dimly aware at this stage of the weeping of blood down into his waistband.
“He was turning his body, attempting to leave the scene.
“Through good fortune, he said he realised the axe was above him aiming for his head.
“He put his arm up to defend himself and the blade essentially severed his arm at the wrist.”
The victim staggered away and was airlifted to hospital where he underwent life-saving emergency surgery.
His hand was partially reattached although the victim has required a further five surgeries in the two years since the attack in 2017.
He will only ever recover 60 per cent use of his arm and remains physically and mentally scarred by the events, the court heard.
Sajid, of Kings Road, Rochdale, was jailed for 18 years after being found guilty of section 18 wounding.
He was acquitted of attempted murder in an earlier trial.