Elderly Samaritan's life ruined by attack that broke her leg
THE LIFE of an active elderly woman was ruined after she was seriously injured by a drunk woman she had stopped to help, a court heard.
Barbara Jones, described by a senior judge as a Good Samaritan, was an active 75 year-old who lived independently, helped look after her grandchildren and worked as an RSPCA volunteer rescuing stray cats.
But prosecutor Alastair Verheijen told Plymouth Crown Court that all that changed after she was violently pushed to the ground by Sarah Nute, breaking her thigh.
Mrs Jones had to have a hip replacement operation, and in a victim impact statement read to the court described how the assault had affected her life.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
She said the three months after her operation were "hell", and the impact on her life was ongoing.
Mrs Jones said she had been forced to give up her voluntary work, could no longer visit the city centre and was afraid to go out in case she fell again or encountered Nute.
She now slept in her living room, could no longer get upstairs unaided and was unable to clean, cook, put food in the oven or look after her grandchildren, her own daughter now having to help her daily.
Mr Verheijen described how on February 17 last year, Mrs Jones was going shopping by taxi when she saw Nute in distress and wailing, sitting on some steps.
When she returned 20 minutes later, Nute was in the same state, shouting and screaming, and Mrs Jones stopped the taxi, approached and asked if she was OK or needed help.
Nute, who had an almost-empty bottle of wine beside her, leapt up and pushed her hard with both hands on the chest and neck.
Mrs Jones fell, fracturing her left thigh and felt immediate pain.
Mr Verheijen said Nute staggered away but was arrested nearby.
She gave "no comment" answers to all police questions, but in a prepared statement said she was not the attacker.
She changed her plea to guilty of grievous bodily harm on the morning of her trial.
Mr Verheijen said Nute, aged 25 and now of Totnes Road, Paignton, had previous convictions for violence and being drunk and disorderly.
Ali Rafati, for Nute, said his client had a long history of drink problems and had argued with her boyfriend after visiting him at a Plymouth bail hostel.
She was disgusted with her behaviour and had not had a drink since January, he said.
Judge Francis Gilbert QC told Nute: "You caused grievous bodily harm to a 75 year-old lady who deserved your gratitude for her kindness, not to be subjected to serious injury as a result of your violent behaviour.
"She was a Good Samaritan, but three months later she was still in a lot of pain and her life has changed dramatically for the worse."
He jailed Nute, who wept in the dock as her actions were described, for 20 months.