"Net closing in" on second man involved in 2008 meat cleaver attack in Cheam
Police have said new forensic techniques mean the net is closing in on a thug who left an innocent New Years Eve reveller fighting for his life five years ago.
Barry Hughes, 24, was sentenced to 13 years in prison last February for his role in a shocking unprovoked attack on Matthew Jeeves in the early hours of January 1, 2008.
But police are continuing to hunt for a second man involved in the attack.
Mr Jeeves, who was 19 at the time, had been out drinking with friends but as he walked to a party alone through Cheam, he was brutally slashed to within an inch of his life by two men wielding a meat cleaver.
He was found by police barely conscious sat on a grass verge, his cheekbone fractured and with one inch-deep lacerations to the back of his head, as well a horrifying cut from his forehead across his right eye to his chin.
Mr Jeeves was lucky to be alive after needing 250 stitches.
CCTV footage from a petrol station near to the scene on Love Lane and Tabor Gardens revealed Hughes, who pleaded guilty at Croydon Crown Court to GBH and robbery, had an accomplice.
Speaking on the anniversary of the attack, Detective Inspector John Mcquade from the Metropolitan Police Homicide and Serious Crime Command said they have never given up on catching the second attacker.
He said: "This was a shocking attack which left Matthew with horrifying injuries which he will be reminded of every time he looks in the mirror. We have put one of these thugs behind bars, now the net is closing in on the second. We have always said we will get him, and now we have the DNA techniques to do so."
Police are hoping a new DNA technique being used on an item of property found at the scene which they believe belongs to the second suspect will provide the evidence they need.
Anyone who could help police with their enquiries should call 0208 721 4005.