A Rochdale lollipop lady was battered 29 times with a hammer and left for dead by her daughter’s ex-boyfriend after he accused her of ‘meddling’ with their relationship, a court heard today.
June Barrett, 54, suffered multiple injuries including a fractured skull and a bleed to the brain after 26-year old Stuart Shaw sneaked into her home through a back door and bludgeoned her about the head while she was asleep.
Mrs Barrett was left unconscious in a pool of blood but miraculously survived her ordeal – although she now suffers short term memory loss and only has partial use of her right hand.
Jilted Shaw had been angry with the victim following the break up of his two year relationship with her daughter Samantha.
In the minutes before hammer attack, the father of one had turned up uninvited at another house where Samantha, 29, was visiting a friend, and slapped her across the face and warned her: ”I’ll see you in hell.”
Today Shaw, from Milnrow, who has a string of previous convictions for violence was jailed for life after he was convicted of attempted murder. He must serve a minimum of seven years before he can be considered for parole.
Earlier Manchester Crown Court was told Shaw held a ‘peculiar animosity’ towards the grandmother and accused her of meddling in his relationship with her daughter Samantha with whom he had a child. He had been prone to outbursts of anger after himself suffering a fractured skull during an attack in 2012.
On the night of the hammer attack in July last year Samantha had been at a friend’s address when Shaw arrived on his bike uninvited and argued with her. They walked towards a taxi office in Rochdale town centre where Shaw attacked her hitting her across the face.
She got into a taxi and returned to her friend’s house alone but Shaw, was already there and shouted at her to return to her mother’s address, but she went back inside the house and he left. He then sent her a message on Facebook saying: “Come to my sister’s now or I’ll see you in hell.”
Afterwards Shaw marched to Mrs Barrett’s home armed with a walling tool similar to a claw hammer and the pair became embroiled in an argument. He took the weapon and battered her about the head before making a futile attempt to take his own life by hacking at his body with a bread knife when he thought he had killed her.
Police who arrested Shaw discovered he had been jailed for four years in 2008 for being part of a gang which kicked an innocent man unconscious in the street. He also had a conviction for assault and criminal damage from 2011.
In a statement Mrs Barrett said she had suffered multiple fractures and bleeding on the brain which required neurosurgery.
She added: “The attack has not only had a massive impact on me but on my family. I have suffered mentally and physically. It has caused me permanent loss of all sense of taste and smell and I only have partial use of my right hand.
“I have short-term memory loss and to get over this I have to write everything down that I need to remember for the day which slows my whole day down. The DVLA have been informed of my progress and I still can’t drive which will set me back at work – I was mobile and a stand in lollipop lady.
“It is difficult to be home alone in the evenings. I live in fear that one day he will be released and come for me and my family.” ”
Shaw had previously denied attempted murder and claimed he had not intended to kill. He also claimed he acted in self-defence after Mrs Barrett threatened him with a knife.
His counsel Stuart Denney QC said he accepted it was a prolonged attack and Mrs Barrett was lucky to be alive. He added: “It is clear that there was a pre-existing animosity towards the victim in this case because the defendant perceived a degree of interference with the victim’s daughter.
“I would like to say he is horrified at what has happened.”
Passing sentence Judge Robert Atherton told Shaw: “As a young couple together you should have been looking forward to a very happy time.
“But it got to the stage when you knew you were not welcome at her home, at least when her mother was there.
”You had had too much to drink and had taken cocaine. That, combined with the effects of the attack on you had a devastating effect so when you went to her house late at night you were very worked up about the situation and feeling aggressive towards her.
“It was a very sustained and deliberate attack. You are very fortunate because she didn’t die but she will carry not only the physical scars, but the emotional scars for the rest of her life.
“Happily she has in many ways recovered but she is scared of being in the house at night and is not able to carry out life as she would wish. She carries that burden and you have to carry it as well.”
Story via Cavendish Press.
Image courtesy of Michael Grimes, with thanks.