A 26-year-old man has been jailed after launching a ‘prolonged and vicious’ attack on a man who put him up in his Barnstaple house.

Kyle Saville, of no fixed address, committed a ‘brutal and sustained’ attack against two vulnerable people who posed no real threat to him’.

Only the quick thinking of a passing police officer prevented him from pouring boiling water over one of his victims, who had already suffered life-threatening injuries at the hands of Saville.

He was sentenced to 21 years with four years on licence at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Friday) after being found guilty of the attempted murder of Daniel Morley and the wounding with intent of Richard Price.

Saville had been staying at Mr Morley’s Barnstaple home when he carried out the attack, which saw him repeatedly strike both men to the head and face.

The court heard Saville asked a witness to see if one of the victims ‘was dead yet’, before continuing his savage attack when learning he was still alive.

The 26-year-old’s attack was only stopped when passing Devon and Cornwall Police sergeant Andy Lear looked through a window from the street and intervened moments before Saville was set to pour scalding hot water over Mr Morley.

DC David Browne said he was ‘extremely pleased’ after hearing the verdict, ‘which quite rightly reflects the severity of the offences’.

He Added: “The two victims will live with the effects of this crime for the rest of their lives.

“The evidence in this case shows that Saville carried out a brutal and sustained attack against two vulnerable members of the community who posed no real threat to him.

“He repeatedly struck them about the head and face, and asked a witness to check on one of the victims to see if ‘he was dead yet?’ Saville then continued attacking him when he learned that he was still alive.

“Thanks to the professionalism and diligence of Police Sergeant Andy Lear, Saville was prevented from carrying out his intention to poor boiling hot water over Daniel Morley, who had already sustained life-threatening injuries by that time.

“I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to everyone who assisted in the investigation, in what has been a particularly difficult trial for those directly involved.”