Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

OAP targeted in 'animal' attack

Matthew Roberts
Matthew Roberts's victim needed a walking frame to get about

A drunken teenager who forced his way into the home of an 80-year-old woman attacking her and burgling her home has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years.

Mold Crown Court heard that Matthew Roberts, 18, punched and kicked the pensioner and demanded cash.

His victim, who has chronic mobility problems, was left screaming on the floor of her home in Acton, Wrexham.

Roberts admitted assault, burglary, two other attempted burglaries in the area, and damage to property.

'Rampage'

The court was told that Roberts posed as a charity collector when he knocked on the front door of his victim's home.

The pensioner needed a walking frame to move about her home, and was pushed into the house by Roberts and a 17-year-old accomplice.

It has affected her life in every conceivable way and her social life will never recover
Gareth Preston, Prosecutor

She was then punched to the back of the head and chest, and kicked as she lay on the floor of the hall.

The woman, who has not been named to protect her identity, told police that when she screamed out, Roberts shouted: "Tell us where your money is".

The house was then turned upside down by the two teenagers as they searched for cash, before leaving and telling their victim they would "torch" her home if she went to the police.

Judge John Rogers QC said that the two teenagers had been on a drunken rampage and Roberts had compounded it all by attacking the defenceless pensioner.

"You, Roberts carried out a persistent assault upon that lady which resulted in her suffering injuries to her back, her neck, her head together with a severe graze to her shoulder," said the judge.

"That violence was quite unnecessary. She posed no threat to either of you.

"I can only assume that alcohol had removed any sort of inhibitions in you at that time."

Prosecutor, Gareth Preston, told the court that the attack had left the victim terrified.

"She cries whenever she thinks about it. It has affected her life in every conceivable way and her social life will never recover," he said.

Alcohol

The court was also told that prior to the attack, Roberts and the 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named, had attempted to burgle a number of other properties in the area.

Defending Roberts, John Phillpots said the teen had "gone off the rails" for a few months due to alcohol.

"He is a decent young man who has behaved almost like an animal but when sober he is deeply remorseful for what he has done," said Mr Phillpots.

Roberts's teenage accomplice was given a 12 month detention and training order after he admitted the burglary, two attempted burglaries and damage.

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