Man beaten black and blue in his own home in ‘sustained and violent attack’
PUBLISHED: 15:49 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:44 10 July 2018
A vulnerable man was beaten “black and blue” in his Great Yarmouth home and blackmailed into handing over his bank card which was used to withdraw £40, a court heard.
Brendan Burt, 36, repeatedly punched and kicked the 53-year-old victim and kept demanding cash over an alleged debt, even ransacking his home looking for money, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Burt got the victim to hand over his bank card and Burt’s accomplice Michelle Bowler, 33, then forced the victim’s carer to go to a cashpoint machine to withdraw £40 from the account.
Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, said the ordeal finally ended after the victim managed to escape and call for help.
Mr Haswell said the terrified victim suffered bruising and a cut to his head.
Burt was later arrested but had to be tasered by police and was found to be in possession of a metal pole.
Burt, of Coronation Terrace, Great Yarmouth, admitted blackmail, and causing actual bodily harm on December 29, last year, and also possessing an offensive weapon.
Jailing him for five years, Judge Anthony Bate said Burt had left the victim “black and blue” with extensive bruising and said: “This was a sustained and violent attack on a vulnerable man in his own home.”
He added: “The flat was ransacked in search of money.”
He said that Burt had been emboldened by drink and drugs at the time of the attack, however accepted Burt had pleaded guilty. Burt also sent a letter to the court apologising and saying he deserved to go to prison for what he had done and hoped prison would help him become a better person.
Jude Durr, for Burt, said he had a long standing problem with drugs and drink which had blighted his life. He said he deserved credit for his guilty plea.
Bowler, who was sentenced separately in the dock to Burt, admitted blackmail and was jailed 21 months.
Andrew Thompson, for Bowler, who was homeless and addicted to drugs at the time of the offence, had put her time to good use in prison learning new skills and planned to move away from Great Yarmouth on her release and get employment.
After the case Det Con Steven Harrowing of Great Yarmouth CID said: “Bowler and Burt were absolutely set on causing trouble that evening.
They picked on a man and his friend and decided to persecute them in their own home. It’s absolutely right that they should punished for what they have done, and the sentences handed out to these despicable individuals should serve as a warning to others.”