OAP beaten for asking thugs to be quiet

THREE thugs burst into an elderly widower's Sheffield home and subjected him to a vicious assault - just because he asked them to keep the noise down in the middle of the night.

Noel Mooney, aged 23, Lee Howard, 19, and Maria Mahon, 38, have all been jailed for their attack on 67-year-old pensioner John Fox in his own hallway and bedroom.

Mooney and Howard even used a bat to beat him, before jumping on his stomach and stamping on his head as he lay helpless on the floor.

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Sheffield Crown Court heard the incident unfolded at around 4.15am on June 2 when Mooney and Howard returned to Mahon's flat in Earldom Drive, Pitsmoor, after a night out drinking.

They had brought more alcohol home with them and Mahon - a recovering alcoholic - joined in drinking with them.

Mr Fox, a pensioner not in the best of health, had been experiencing problems with noise coming from Mahon's flat during the months before and had reported her to the local authority.

But on this occasion he banged on the wall in an attempt to get them to quieten down.

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Just a few minutes later the three were on his front doorstep and burst through his front door into the hallway.

The court heard all three of them took part in the first assault when they kicked and punched him. Mahon's involvement ended there.

But the judge, the Recorder of Sheffield Alan Goldsack QC, said: "That was certainly not the end of it as far as Mooney and Howard were concerned.

"By now, fuelled by excessive alcohol, you simply wanted to beat up this old man, and beat him up you did, punching and kicking him as he moved down the hallway."

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The attack continued in Mr Fox's bedroom - this time using a bat to hit him with, and then stamping and jumping on him as he lay on the floor.

Judge Goldsack added: "Then, like the cowards you were that night, you fled the scene."

Mr Fox suffered a fractured hand and ribs, along with cuts and bruises to his face and body.

Mooney, of Maltravers Terrace, Wybourn, and Howard, of White's Lane, Wybourn, pleaded guilty to one count of burglary when they entered as trespassers and inflicted grievous bodily harm. Mahon pleaded guilty to one count of affray.

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Mooney was sentenced to five years in prison, Howard five years in a young offenders' centre and Mahon a 16-month jail term.

Judge Goldsack said: "Burglary is always serious and the worst are those that occur at night in occupied premises.

"This was all the more serious because it involved inflicting serious harm, not just theft of property which can be replaced."

They got more than they bargained for, click here.

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