Grandson jailed for brutal attack on pensioner

A PENSIONER was chased from room to room by her grandson in the home they shared and beaten so violently her face had to be repaired with metal plates.

Craig Wassell, 29, has been given a minimum jail term of three-and-a-half years but has been warned by a judge that parole officials are unlikely to release him while victim Audrey Downs is still alive.

Mrs Downs, 71, had brought up Wassell from birth and they shared a bungalow at Brinsworth, Rotherham.

She challenged him about smoking cannabis and he responded by putting a chain on the door, turning out the lights and attacking her.

Prosecutor James Baird told Sheffield Crown Court: "He grabbed her by the throat, knocked her to the ground and punched her about the face and head.

"The argument spilled into the lounge. She feared for her life and fled into the bedroom. He followed her into the bathroom and repeatedly punched her to the face and top of her head."

Wassell eventually put her on a settee but then smashed her mobile telephone and television before calling an ambulance. The crew found the kitchen ransacked and splattered with blood.

Mrs Downs spent two weeks in hospital and needed operations to repair fractured eye sockets, cheekbones and jaw.

"Her face is disfigured and she has an impaired sense of smell and taste, with blurring in one eye," said Mr Baird. "Although she loves him she is in fear of him. The attack has caused enormous emotional stress."

Wassell has admitted causing grievous bodily harm and Judge Roger Keen imposed a minimum sentence of three-and-a- half years before a parole board can consider his release.

Wassell had claimed his grandmother inflicted the injuries herself because she wanted him out of the bungalow.

In mitigation, his lawyer Simon Reevell said: "It is an incident which arises from difficulties in the relationship between two individuals. It is made worse because the idea of a young man attacking his grandmother is abhorrent to anybody."