Man jailed over 'horrific attack' on Sussex woman

James Walmsley
Image caption James Walmsley was told he would serve at least five years in jail

A 23-year-old man has been jailed following an "horrific attack" on an 83-year-old woman in her Crawley home.

James Francis Walmsley, of Poynings Drive, Hove, was given an indeterminate sentence of at least five years at Hove Crown Court for attempted robbery.

Walmsley also received a six-year term for burglary. He pleaded guilty to both charges at an earlier hearing.

Sussex Police said he viciously attacked an elderly resident during a burglary on 4 September.

The victim was hit in the face and body, and suffered cuts to her face neck and hands after Walmsley broke into the woman's home in North Road, Three Bridges, Sussex Police said.

'Victim incredibly brave'

Det Insp Sarah Barrett added: "The length of sentence Walmsley has received reflects the horrific nature of this offence.

"He entered the home of his victim while she was sleeping and viciously assaulted her while demanding she handed over car keys, which the victim said she did not have.

"Throughout the investigation the victim has been incredibly brave and I hope that seeing Walmsley sentenced today will provide her with some sort of closure to the terrifying incident."

Both sentences will run concurrently.

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