Vicious thug who left pensioner, 88, black and blue after robbing her in her bed is jailed

<em>Andrew Hodgkinson left Evelyn Birchall with devastating bruises after the vicious attack (SWNS)</em>
Andrew Hodgkinson left Evelyn Birchall with devastating bruises after the vicious attack (SWNS)

A tattooed thug has been jailed after he left an 88-year-old woman with devastating bruises to her face when he battered and robbed her.

Evelyn Birchall was sleeping in her bed when she was viciously attacked by Andrew Hodgkinson during the night of August 26.

Hodgkinson, 36, battered Evelyn and ransacked her home, tearing her alarm box from the wall and vandalising her pictures.

Brave Evelyn asked violent intruder Hodgkinson what he wanted, but feared she would be raped when he menacingly replied: “I want you”.

The disgusting attack left the pensioner with horrific bruising on her face and she also needed a CT scan.

Evelyn couldn’t get out of bed, eat or sleep, for days after the attack.

In a victim impact statement she told the court she felt lucky to have survived, but said she was upset and angry when her great grand-daughters came to visit and were shocked and scared by her disfigurement.

<em>Brave Evelyn was thrown to the floor after Hodgkinson broke into her home (SWNS)</em>
Brave Evelyn was thrown to the floor after Hodgkinson broke into her home (SWNS)

Hodgkinson, from Chorley, Lancs, was jailed for six years and eight months and recorder David Potter, sitting at Preston Crown Court imposed an extended licence of three years.

He will only be released if the parole board decide it is safe to do so.

Hodgkinson broke into Evelyn’s sheltered accommodation bungalow in Chorley, where she lives alone, overnight on August 26.

The frail pensioner, who needs the aid of a walking stick, and has heart problems, woke in pitch black darkness to find him pulling her arms.

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Prosecuting, David Traynor said: “She woke up to find something touching her. She wasn’t sure if it was a man or an animal.

“She received a blow to the face. She tried to fight off whatever it was, but the defendant was fighting back.

“She describes him as being vicious.

“He pulled everything off the bed and threw it across the bedroom, and that resulted in Mrs Birchall landing on the floor. She was unable to get up without support.

<em>Hodgkinson has been jailed for six years and eight months (SWNS)</em>
Hodgkinson has been jailed for six years and eight months (SWNS)

“She was forced to crawl across the floor to the bed to get up, but as she managed to get to her feet the defendant returned into the room and pushed her, causing her to fall.

“She was lying on her back and the defendant came and stood over her with one leg at either side of her body.

“The defendant said: “‘Do you know me?’ She replied: ‘No. what do you want?’ He said: ‘I want you.’

“She describes she was terrified – because of his answer she feared he was going to rape her.”

Hodgkinson then started demanding money.

Evelyn managed to get up and follow him into another room where he was tipping all her jewellery into a bag.

She was then thrown across the room with such force she slid into a corridor and was knocked out.

The court heard the robber callously left her on the floor but at 12.40am she managed to crawl to a neighbour’s home in the dark for help.

<em>Hodgkinson was sentenced at Preston Crown Court (Geograph)</em>
Hodgkinson was sentenced at Preston Crown Court (Geograph)

Evelyn stayed with her daughter for two weeks after the attack – but the independent pensioner was determined to return home.

Hodgkinson left his fingerprints and footprints at the scene and was arrested hours later at his home after a public appeal – with the stolen goods recovered.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and driving while disqualified.

Welcoming the sentence, Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of South CID, said: “This was a brutal and sustained assault on an elderly lady in her own home.

“The violence used on this vulnerable woman simply beggars belief and it is a miracle she was not more seriously injured.

“In 27 years of service I have never witnessed such levels of gratuitous violence.”