Notts burglar assaulted ‘plucky’ disabled pensioner after she hit him with her walking stick
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Michael Barrett wore a black mask to disguise himself when he used a sledgehammer to smash through a breeze-block partition, separating his mother's loft from the loft next door, on July 8.
HIs 71-year-old victim, who suffers from osteoarthritis, was in her living room when she saw his black-gloved hand on the door frame.
"Picking up her two walking sticks she went to the hall and there she saw him hiding behind the bedroom door," said prosecutor Jonthan Fountain.
“With some pluck she struck him with her walking stick.
"He grabbed her by the hips and pushed her to the floor, hurting her arm as she went down. She couldn't get up and dragged herself out of the bedroom in time to see see his legs disappearing into the hatch."
Barrett's victim, who lives alone, managed to call police, and officers found him pretending to be asleep next door, in his mum's bungalow.
William Bennet, mitigating, said Barrett, a “third-strike burglar,” faced a minimum sentence of three years “unless there are circumstances which would make it unjust.”
"This burglary was fuelled by an addiction to alcohol,” he said. “He was always going to be caught because he never thought it through. He is absolutely wracked by guilt.
"At the police station he denied it, because he was acting like an addict.”
Barrett, 39, of Yorke Drive, Newark, pleaded guilty to burglary and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, when
Judge Stuart Rafferty QC told him: “I accept your remorse is genuine now but at the time you had no thought for your victim.
"I have no doubt she will never feel safe in her home again. You committed this so you could get more money for drink. That is no excuse.
"You are right to feel ashamed. I hope that that feeling never leaves you. You manhandled her and left her on the floor without a thought of what might happen. There can only be imprisonment in your case."
On Thursday, at Nottingham Crown Court, he sentenced Barrett to three years and nine months in custody.