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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 14:15 GMT
Ex-soldier jailed for OAP attacks
Supreme Courts, Edinburgh
The court heard Lister preyed on vulnerable pensioners
A former soldier has been jailed for seven years after a series of assaults on pensioners.

Simon Lister deliberately mugged vulnerable elderly women, the High Court in Edinburgh was told.

The jury heard he attacked four elderly women in the capital over five weeks during the summer.

The judge, Lord Brodie, told the 25-year-old it "was a wicked course of action". One of Lister's victims was blind in one eye.

He threatened an 84-year-old with a knife, before cutting through the strap of her handbag, telling her: "I could cut your throat just as easily."

Lister, from the Clermiston district of Edinburgh, attacked an 81-year-old as she went to church.

I consider this to be a wicked course of conduct aimed at members of society who deserve our protection
Lord Brodie

The father-of-two was discharged from the Royal Scots on medical grounds last year.

Defence counsel Frances Connor said Lister wanted to apologise to the victims.

She said Lister was kept in protective custody in prison, but had been seriously attacked.

Ms Connor said the crimes were committed against a background of drug and alcohol abuse and he was heavily in debt to a money-lender who had beaten him up.

Living in fear

His lawyer said Lister's family wanted nothing further to do with him. " He genuinely appears to be appalled that he sunk so low," she told the court.

Some of the victims were afraid to leave their homes after being attacked.

Lord Brodie said: "I consider this to be a wicked course of conduct aimed at members of society who deserve our protection and respect.

"As I understand it, you accept you deliberately picked your victims because they were so vulnerable."

Lister had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.

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