Wales

Robber who attacked woman with crowbar jailed for life

Ruthann Yandle Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Retired teacher Ruthann Yandle used to teach English at Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr in Gowerton

A man has been jailed for life for a "horrific and unprovoked" crowbar attack on a 73-year-old woman.

Jeffrey Paul Lloyd, 40, hit retired teacher Ruthann Yandle four times as she lay "helpless" on the floor of her home, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Lloyd, of St Teilo Street, Pontarddulais, admitted grievous bodily harm and robbery but denied attempted murder. That charge will lie on file.

He will serve a minimum of nine years for the attack in Pontarddulais.

The court heard how Ms Yandle now requires 24-hour care in hospital, with her injuries described as "life-destroying" by her doctor.

She was left with significant bleeds on her brain and fractures to both sides of her skull and forearm.

Ms Yandle no longer remembers her grandsons' names, with her son James Yandle saying: "She may be alive, but we as a family are grieving."

"She had a great sense of humour and a dry wit," but has now "had her life taken away from her", he added.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Jeffrey Paul Lloyd will serve at least nine years

The court heard how Lloyd had written a list of names and addresses in Swansea's SA4 postcode area, and bought a mask online and a lock jiggler key.

He also researched police scanners and cameras in order to avoid detection.

Ms Yandle, who worked as a tutor after retiring, had taken the first of her grandsons to school and was preparing to take the second when Lloyd attacked her.

She was found "unconscious and bleeding" on the floor by her daughter, and it was initially thought she had fallen down the stairs.

Lloyd has a list of previous convictions including an unprovoked hammer attack on a woman in a car and assaulting a 15-year-old girl with a knife.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption The crowbar used to attack Ms Yandle

Ferocious attack

In October 2015, he was jailed for six years for possessing an "arsenal" of weapons and making his own pipe gun.

It was while he was on licence for this offence he broke into Ms Yandle's home.

While he initially denied the offences, he was caught after being spotted on CCTV and following the discovery of Ms Yandle's handbag.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption CCTV footage led to Jeffery Paul Lloyd being caught

"You attacked her ferociously in her own home causing her life changing injuries from which she will never recover," Judge Keith Thomas said.

He said Ms Yandle, who taught English at Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr, in Gowerton, was now "incapable of looking after herself".

The Ministry of Justice confirmed a serious case review was being held into the management of Lloyd's case as happens when an offender released on licence goes on to carry out another offence.

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