Jail following brutal attack on pensioner

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

An armed thug who battered a pensioner with the barrel of a sawn-off shotgun has been jailed for eight years.

Karl Hill, 44, struck the 65-year-old victim repeatedly with the imitation weapon after bursting into his home in Whitby.

The victim was almost knocked unconscious by ferocious blows to the head and thought he was going to die.

Hill and his sidekick Dean Firth, 46, appeared in his living room and the blood-soaked victim was drifting in and out of consciousness as he was dragged upstairs and dumped on his bedroom floor while they rifled through drawers and grabbed some Scottish notes, bank cards and an Omega watch, before fleeing in a people-carrier.

The vehicle was stopped as the raiders made their way back home to Dewsbury. They were arrested and charged with aggravated burglary and possessing an imitation firearm as a joint enterprise.

Firth and Hill admitted the offences and appeared for sentence on Friday via video link from Hull Prison.

Prosecuting barrister Pater Sabiston said Hill and Firth - a drug dealer and alcoholic with a history of substance abuse - were under the mistaken impression the victim had cannabis and money in his house.

He said the victim had met Hill on two previous occasions and the defendant pestered him with phone calls but he had hung up.

Hill persisted and persuaded an acquaintance to drive him to the victim’s home in Waterstead Lane, where the attack happened on July 2 last year.

The court heard Firth had previous convictions for domestic violence, battery and fraud. Hill, a father-of-one with a serious alcohol and cannabis habit, had served prison sentences for robbery, blackmail and burglary.

Barrister Chris Dunne, for Firth, said his client had not used violence against the victim, but admitted he had been selling drugs in Whitby in the weeks leading up to the attack.

Jailing Hill, judge Stephen Ashurst said he was clearly the “prime mover” in the attack and had shown little remorse. Firth was jailed for six years and eight months.