A HITMAN has been jailed for 15 years after repeatedly stabbing a doctor in a GP surgery car park.

Minshull Street Crown Court heard how Dean Heywood, aged 38, later bragged that he had been paid £3,000 to carry out the attack.

He and an accomplice had tracked the doctor’s movements in the weeks leading up to the attack in the car park of Elms Medical Centre, where he worked as a locum doctor.

The court heard how the doctor, who is from Bolton, was loading his briefcase into the boot of his car at 1pm on April 27 last year when the men pounced on him from behind and pinned him to the ground.

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He tried to defend himself with his briefcase before Heywood brandished a knife of about five to six inches in length, while the other man repeatedly shouted ‘cut him’.

Heywood then cut the victim’s face several times before he and the other man fled the scene in a car driven by a third man.

The car was later found burnt out close to Heywood’s home in Rydal Grove, Whitefield.

The court heard how people inside the surgery came racing outside after hearing shouting and saw the doctor lying “helpless” in the car park.

He was taken to hospital with several deep cuts to his face, which required surgery.

Judge Bernadette Baxter was told that he has been left with permanent scars, which are highly visible.

Heywood was arrested after his ex-partner contacted police. She told officers that he had been “buzzing” after carrying out the attack, and that he had boasted of having “done the job”.

He was arrested by police on May 8 and was convicted of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm and possessing a knife following a three day trial in June.

In a victim impact statement read out in court, the doctor said he has been too afraid to return to work following the attack and experiences daily panic attacks, nightmares and flashbacks to the incident.

Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said: “He has been unable to work following the attack and has not seen his son.

“It has had a lasting effect on him and his family. He still feels unable to go out with friends, or to go swimming or running.

“He can’t get out of the car unless someone else is with him.”

Sentencing Heywood to an extended sentence of 15 years in prison plus another five on licence, Judge Bernadette Baxter described Heywood as a “dangerous man”.

She added: “You and two others, who have never been detected, targeted [the doctor] in a violent attack.

“You and others had been following his movements for about a week to ensure you caught him when he was vulnerable.

“Your intention was to disfigured him and that is exactly what you did. He has been left with permanent and visible scars that will only deteriorate as he gets older.

“This has completely devastated his life in every aspect — personal, work and family.”

Heywood has since been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is currently undergoing treatment at Prestwich Hospital.

His sentence will begin after he is discharged.

Judge Baxter said that while Heywood had been suffering from mental health problems, it did not completely explain his actions.

She added: “You knew what you were doing and you did it for money.”