THREE Exeter men have been jailed for a total of more than 30 years following a brutal attack which left a former friend in a coma fighting for his life.

Euan Baker was 18 when he was subjected to a vicious and prolonged beating at his Exeter home three years ago.

The three masked assailants, also teenagers at the time, burst into his bedroom on April 27, 2021 and repeatedly beat him with a baseball bat and a hammer.

Mr Baker sustained a traumatic brain injury and spent two weeks in a medically-induced coma on a ventilator; he was lucky to survive the injuries inflicted upon him.

Kai-Rhys Lawson, now 21, Aidan Manvell, 20, and Hazem Badran, 20, denied attempted murder and were acquitted by a jury at Exeter Crown Court following a trial in March.

They admitted Section 18 assault grievous bodily harm with intent and were subsequently convicted.

Badran, of Hook Drive, Lawson of Widgery Road and Manvell, of Crabtree Drive in Cranbrook, also pleaded guilty to robbing Mr Baker of his mobile telephone and bicycle a few weeks before the serious assault.

Lawson also admitted possession of cannabis with intent to supply in February 2022 while Badran was found guilty of witness intimidation. Manvell was further convicted for assaulting an emergency worker on his arrest.

On Friday, May 10, Lawson was jailed for 13 years and six months, Badran for nine years and two months and Manvell for eight years.

The court was told that the four were known to each other, either from school or from where they live, but the defendants had since fallen out with Mr Baker, possibly over a long-term feud over money.

The chain of events began on March 19, 2021 when Lawson, then 18, Manvell, 17, and Badran, 16, took part in a joint plan to rob Mr Baker as “punishment”.

The prosecution said Lawson set up the robbery by pretending he wanted to buy a bike advertised by Mr Baker. They met at a garden shed at a friend’s home but when Lawson left to get something from his car, Manvell and Badran appeared.

The pair punched and kicked Mr Baker before Badran hit him over the head with a chair. His Armani watch and £450 bicycle were stolen.

Mr Baker managed to escape but sustained injuries including a split lip, black eye, and sore ribs. He did not report the robbery for fear of retribution.

During the incident he dropped his house key which was never located.

The more violent assault happened at Mr Baker’s home just over a month later on the night of April 27. A friend was staying overnight in the spare room and both went to bed around 11pm.

A short time later the friend heard banging and thumping from Mr Baker’s bedroom. He desperately tried to get into the room but was pushed back and the door held shut from within.

Mr Baker was making noises as if he was being beaten and there was shouting coming from the room.

The three assailants, all dressed in black with hoods up and faces covered, then fled down the stairs and out of the house. Manvell was carrying a broken bat.

The victim was found on the floor with “blood everywhere” in the room. His face was covered in blood; he had significant head, facial, chest and leg injuries and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

He had been subjected to a sustained and brutal beating with a baseball bat, a hammer and a wooden shoe rack - as further punishment by the trio.

Police officers provided emergency treatment before paramedics arrived and a bloodied hammer was found on the floor.

The court heard that the beating was so severe that his brain had moved to one side of his skull. His skull was fractured in 25 places and Mr Baker had multiple brain bleeds, plus complicated facial, nose and knee fractures, among his many injuries.

He underwent life-saving surgery and was placed in a medically-induced coma on a ventilator at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital before being transferred to Derriford Hospital where he underwent further surgery in early May.

Euan was later moved to a rehabilitation centre, staying until July 28 while learning to walk again and recover his cognitive and motor functions. The court heard that Euan has never fully recovered and has no memory of the assault.

Police arrested Lawson and Manvell at their homes within a few hours of the attack. Badran, now aged 17, was arrested at a friend’s address in Exeter on April 29.

Manvell kicked a police officer while in custody, an offence he admitted during a previous hearing.

Searches were carried out at the defendants’ addresses and extensive CCTV evidence was gathered. Clothing and phones were among the items seized.

CCTV footage tracked Lawson’s Audi to and from Mr Baker’s house on the night of the attack.

The car returned to Lawson’s home before he and Badran then drove to Exeter Vale Tesco just after midnight. Badran bought a new SIM card and credit, hiding the phone and SIM card he had used up until the assault.

Manvell had been dropped off and was attempting to get a taxi back to Cranbrook from Pinhoe.

Mobile phone evidence showed that Badran and Lawson attempted to call Mr Baker’s friend, the main witness to the assault, in the hours after the attack but he did not answer. After buying the new SIM card, Badran also tried multiple times to call the witness and contact him via Snapchat in the hours afterwards.

Badran was further charged with witness intimidation between September 2021 and January 2022 after breaching a bail condition not to contact Mr Baker.

He sent Instagram friend requests to him and his girlfriend “in a clear attempt to intimidate Euan” the court was told. He denied the offence.

A video was located on Badran’s phone showing a damaged blue bat like the one believed to have been used in the attack. The bat was not recovered but splinters were found at the scene and in Lawson’s car.

Mr Baker’s blood was found on Lawson’s trainers, hoody and tracksuit bottoms, and on Manvell’s hoody and tracksuit bottoms. Badran admitted that after finding out his friends had been arrested, he took his clothes to Tiverton where he disposed of them so they could not be found by police.

In police interview Lawson admitting going to Euan’s home with two others but said he knew nothing of the plans. It was their idea to visit and them who carried out the assault, he claimed.

Lawson said he was trapped in the room unable to escape and tried to stop the attack. He also originally denied being part of the previous robbery.

Prosecutor Mr Dan Pawson Pounds said that given the evidence all three had “no choice” but to admit their crimes. The trio had “lost control” during the beating, going beyond the original punishment they had in mind.

“These defendants admitted to being part of an attack on Euan intending to cause him really serious harm. It is through no skill or action of theirs that he did not die,” he added.

Following sentence Detective Sergeant Joanne Rotchell said: “Euan and his family still endure the profound and lasting effects of what was a horrific attack.

“Euan’s life-changing injuries required months of hospital care and specialist treatment and had a devastating impact upon him. I would like to thank Euan for his courage and ongoing support to the investigation and wish him all the best in his continued recovery.

“It has been a lengthy process to get to this stage and I would also like to thank Euan’s family for their dignified assistance in this case and their composure despite the delays. My thoughts, and those of the entire investigation team, are with them at this time.”