A man who battered an OAP with a washing line pole after swinging it in a “Star Wars light sabre movement” as he tried to hit another man with it was today (Thursday) jailed.
Stephen Dyer launched the brutal attack during an incident in a garden in Union Street, Brechin, on May 8.
Helen Dinnie, 92, was sitting with friend Matilda Longmuir, 89, enjoying the sunshine while Lauren Robertson, 22, sat with friends on the other side of the communal green at the block of flats.
Dyer turned up and began an argument with Miss Robertson before grabbing her by the throat.
He then picked up a two square foot wooden fencing pallet and smashed it over her head “with force” before punching her repeatedly on the head and body.
Forfar Sheriff Court heard one of her friends then tried to step in - prompting Dyer to pick up a six-foot long wooden washing line pole.
Dyer, who has previous convictions for burglary, battery and grievous bodily harm in England, then swung it in a “Star Wars light sabre movement” at another man.
The man, however, jumped out of the way - with the pole instead smashing into Mrs Dinnie as she sat in her deckchair.
Dyer then dropped the pole and ran off. Mrs Dinnie suffered bruising and swelling to her kneecap but did not require further medical treatment.
Speaking following Dyer’s guilty plea, Mrs Dinnie said: “This is the first time I’ve had anything like this happen to me in 49 years staying here.
“He just threw the pole and it struck me on the knee.
“I wasn’t badly hurt but it could have been a lot worse – it could have been my face.
“He was drunk – I don’t think he knew what he was doing.”
Ms Dinnie was sitting outside enjoying the sun with a neighbour when Dyer appeared in her back garden.
She added: “The police took one look at my knee and told me to go for an X-ray.
“It had swollen up but luckily nothing was broken.
“I’m just glad he pleaded guilty and I didn’t have to go to court.”
Dyer, 38, a prisoner at HMP Perth, pleaded guilty on indictment to two charges of assault to injury committed on May 8 this year at an address in Union Street, Brechin, Angus.
His not guilty pleas to a further charge of assault and two of possessing an offensive weapon on the same date and at the same place were accepted by the Crown.
Defence solicitor Michael Boyd said: “He didn’t instigate the initial situation.
“But he didn’t take steps to stop it and inflamed matters.
“Then unfortunately - and it is a matter that causes him extreme regret and has made him profoundly sorry - the incident takes place relating to the older woman.”
Sheriff Gregor Murray jailed Dyer for nine months - reduced from 12 months for his early guilty plea.
He said: “What you did was to commit a sustained assault on one woman, try to assault someone else then actually assault someone else.
“That person was 92-years-old.
“I accept your remorse in relation to that.
“However, you are lucky the consequences were not more severe.”