South Scotland

Gretna man jailed over pensioner assault

Matthew Howes
Image caption Howes was jailed for three years and nine months at Dumfries Sheriff Court

A man who attacked an 81-year-old in his own home in a bid to rob him has been jailed for more than three years.

Matthew Howes, 31, of Gretna, admitted assaulting William Blenkharn at his house in the town's Mackies Drive in September last year.

A court heard how the pensioner was watching football on television when Howes appeared and demanded his wallet.

He then grabbed his victim by his clothes, punched him on the head and threatened him with a horseshoe.

However, Mr Blenkharn managed to fend off his attacker and staggered out into his garden with blood on his face before falling onto the grass near his 82-year-old wife.

The court was told Howes was "extremely ashamed" of his actions.

Sheriff Kenneth Ross described it as an "extremely serious offence" and said that only a prison sentence was justified.

He jailed Howes for a total of three years and nine months.