A drug and alcohol-fuelled woman who ‘viciously attacked’ a 90-year-old in his sheltered accommodation flat has been jailed.
Gina King, from Accrington, repeatedly punched the victim in the face and head as he was ‘trapped’ in a chair with mobility problems, court heard.
Burnley Crown Court heard how King had just moments earlier set fire to a pile of newspapers and magazines on his coffee table as she made a ‘drunken attempt’ to light her cigarette using a gas hob in the kitchen.
The victim suffered ‘nasty’ wounds to his head during the incident at his Stopford Court flat in Clayton-le-Moors and when the accommodation manager arrived said ‘Have you seen my head? She’s done that the me.’
King, 46, of Edgar Street, pleaded guilty to common assault and arson and was jailed for nine months.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, told the court how King and the victim had known each other for about 10 years and he ‘classed her as a friend’.
The court heard how convicted King ‘regularly borrowed’ money from him and did chores in return, however he was ‘concerned that she spent the money he gave her on both alcohol and drugs’.
Mr Parker said on February 6 this year - three days before the incident - King met him as he went to collect his pension and returned with him to his flat on Sparth Road and started taking heroin.
The prosecutor said she was still there at his flat two days later, was drinking gin and wine and her behaviour ‘became more erratic’ as she took more alcohol and drugs.
The court heard how shortly before 1am on February 9, King repeatedly tried to light some newspaper on a gas hob in the kitchen to light her cigarette.
However, at one point she dropped a lit piece of paper onto a coffee table which set fire to a pile of other newspapers.
Mr Parker said King ‘became mad at both the situation and with [the victim]’ and in the ‘pandemonium’ she attacked him ‘for no reason’ as he sat trapped in his chair.
He said: “The attack lasted only a few moments but was quite vicious.”
The court heard how the sheltered accommodation manager was alerted after the smoke alarm went off and when she arrived in the flat saw flames coming from both the living room and kitchen areas.
Judge Jonathan Gibson said it was a ‘nasty assault’ and the arson was a ‘dangerous act’.
Sentencing, he said: “For some reason, which is wholly unexplained, when the papers on the coffee table set light you briefly but really quite viciously attacked [the man] who is 90 and he ended up with wounds.
“You appeared to have had something in your hand, possibly the lighter when you did it.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate (to suspend the prison sentence). This was a nasty assault and the arson was a dangerous act, albeit reckless.
“Fortunately the damage was not extensive but of course when there’s any fire in a domestic setting firstly there’s likely to be a lot of smoke damage and secondly it’s always dangerous because of the nature of the premises and what could happen.”
Defence barrister Philip Holden said her ‘best mitigation was her early guilty plea’.
He told the court that King, who has 24 previous convictions for 54 offences, was a ‘long-standing heroin addict’ but has had periods where she was clean and offence free. He said she had ‘lapsed back into alcohol consumption and drug addiction’.