Drunk attacked pensioner after targeting wrong home

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A DRUNK who attacked a pensioner on his own doorstep after a boozy night out has been jailed.

Dean Purvis was at a house party in Third Avenue, Morpeth, last October when he became locked out of the premises and started banging on the door to the wrong property.

Newcastle Crown Court heard this week that when the 77-year-old owner, Maurice Harthill, came out to inform Purvis of his mistake, he was kicked repeatedly.

Emma Dowling, for the prosecution, said: “Mr Harthill was just about to watch Match of the Day when he became aware of someone banging.

“He went out the back door to see what was happening and saw the defendant kicking the door.

“He told the defendant he thought he had the wrong house, but he came at him kicking and punching him to the ground, where he was kicked several times.

“He was extremely intoxicated at the time of the offence.”

Mr Harthill was taken to hospital and released later, but was re-admitted a few days later after suffering problems with his chest.

A victim personal impact statement for Mr Harthill said he now avoided talking to people, and often became panicked and irritable.

“I want to get the strength and confidence back to walk out of the house without feeling afraid. I will fight this to bring normality back to my life,” it read.

Purvis, 20, of Second Avenue, Stobhill, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm when he appeared at court on Wednesday.

Robert Adams for the defence said: “He is appalled by what he did on that day.

“He is a nuisance in the area and he accepts that.

“He was extremely drunk at the time and he appears to have mistaken Mr Harthill’s door for the next door and was banging on it and he assaulted the man who came to the door.

“It was an appalling act and he realises that, but he does at least appear to be making progress.”

The court heard how Purvis was on bail for battery against his former partner at the time of the offence.

In sentencing him to 18 months in prison, recorder of Newcastle James Goss said: “This is outrageous behaviour that has to be stopped.

“The victim has suffered significant psychological injuries as a result of your attack on him. He feels that what happened to him has ruined what is left of his life.

“The psychological effects of this attack will remain with Mr Harthill for the rest of his life. He is now depressed and feels unsafe and you will have to live with that for the rest of your life, which will be considerably longer than his.”

Purvis was also made the subject of a three-year Anti-Social Behaviour Order preventing him from accessing Third and Fourth Avenue in Morpeth, and engaging or enticing anyone to engage in anti-social behaviour.