Burglar who assaulted elderly pensioner jailed for eight years

John Patrick McDonagh

A burglar who assaulted an elderly pensioner in Edgware and broke her leg has been sentenced to over eight years in prison.

In May, John Patrick McDonagh broke into two homes but fled both times when disturbed by the occupants.

The 38-year-old then knocked on the door of the 80-year-old victim, who declined his offer of gardening work.

A short time later he returned to the address and barged his way through the door when she answered the door again.

McDonagh grabbed the woman by her neck, pushed her to the floor and covered her mouth whilst ripping the telephone cable out of the wall socket to prevent her from calling for help.

Despite this, the brave pensioner shouted out and alerted neighbours through her screams, prompting the neighbours to call the police.

One of the neighbours started banging on the front door shouting that the police were alerted and on their way. In fear of getting caught, McDonagh ran out of the home empty handed and was stopped by officers in nearby Cressingham Road, sweating profusely.

The 80-year-old woman suffered facial injuries, bruised arms and a broken leg. She was treated by paramedics at the scene and taken to a north London hospital. Her leg took over six months to heal.

McDonagh pleaded guilty on December 1 at Wood Green Crown Court to two counts of burglary and one count of assault of an 80-year-old woman. He was sentenced to a total of eight years and nine months’ imprisonment on January 9.

Detective Inspector Paul Murray of Barnet CID said: “This was a callous, unprovoked attack on an elderly woman in the comfort of her own home. Sadly, the victim will bear the scars to remind her of her ordeal.

“I would like to thank the victim, who has shown incredible bravery throughout this investigation and I would also like to thank the witnesses who assisted with this case.”

 

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