Elderly woman opened her door to this man who then beat her to a pulp

Michael Eedle
Michael Eedle -Credit:Merseyside police

A man has been given an "indefinite" hospital order after battering an elderly woman who later died of a brain bleed.

Michael Eedle punched and kicked 78-year-old Barbara Jones in an unprovoked attack, leaving the pensioner unconscious, bloodied and bruised on her own doorstep on Western Avenue, Speke, on January 16 2022. The 45-year-old also lashed out at two Merseyside Police officers who were called to the scene, punching PC Ellen Burns in the back of the head and PC Daniel Bullivant in the face.

He pleaded guilty to assault causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, and appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today, May 20, via video link from Rathbone psychiatric hospital.

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Prosecutor Sarah Holt said: "The victim, Barbara Jones, has now died. She was elderly. On January 16 2022 she was at her home address alone at the time when she heard banging on her front door. When she opened the door there was a male there she she didn't know, and that male was asking about her son. Her son, who did live with her, at the time was not in - but the male proceeded to attack her.

"He went for her, punching her to the face. She didn't know whether he was holding anything at the time. She remembers falling to the floor and holding up her arms, protecting her head as best she could. The male continued to kick her with force to her head, her body and her arms."

Ms Jones was found unconscious on her doorstep by a neighbour, who at first thought Eedle had been attacking Ms Jones' pet dog. They called 999, and Ms Jones was taken to hospital, where she was treated for cuts and bruises to her body, arms and face, and a bleed on the brain. The court heard that, following the incident, Ms Jones had died of a brain bleed - but it was determined that this was not linked to the injuries inflicted by Eedle.

Two police officers, Ellen Burns and Daniel Bullivant, attended the scene, and Eedle was "instantly aggressive towards them", shouting "What are you going to do about it?". He then punched PC Burns in the back of the head, and PC Bullivant in the face, splitting his lip. He also bit PC Bullivant on the arm as he was restrained.

The court was told Eedle, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, had 21 past convictions for 56 offences, and had previously been detained under section 37 of the Mental Health Act.

Dr Deepak Gupta, a Merseycare psychiatrist called on by the defence, asked Judge Ian Harris to sentence Eedle to a section 37 hospital order with section 41 restrictions, meaning he cannot be released without the approval of doctors and the Ministry of Justice.

The judge said: "I assume he was absolutely discharged from the previous section 37/41 order, which meant there was no power over him to continue treatment. On the basis I make the order with restrictions, he can only be discharged by an order of a mental health tribunal or a Secretary of State, and even if discharged there's a power to recall that which enable authorities to bring him back to hospital if it seems he's not cooperating or relapsing."

Sentencing Eedle to an indefinite hospital stay under section 37/41 of the Mental Health Act, he said: "Because of all the circumstances of this case, including the nature of the offences, your character and your past, with a long standing history of mental illness, a Mental Health Act order is appropriate."

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