A BAILIFF caged for 18 months for attacking a Huncoat pensioner has been branded a coward by the judge who put him behind bars.
Richard Gorry, 26, of St Helens, was found guilty earlier this year by a jury at Burnley Crown Court of unlawfully wounding Francis Duckett, now 71, outside his home in Enfield Road.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Judge Philip Sycamore at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday.
Great-grandfather Mr Duckett, a former Neighbourhood Watch boss, said he was pleased his attacker had been jailed, but wished the sentence could be longer.
The attack happened last July after the retired engineer spotted Gorry driving outside his house while talking on a mobile phone, and asked him to stop.
Gorry got out of the vehicle and approached Mr Duckett, who picked up a pair of stepladders he had been using outside his home to defend himself.
During the confrontation, Gorry struck Mr Duckett in the face and drove off, leaving him with facial injuries and a wound to his finger which exposed the bone.
Following the sentencing at Preston Crown Court, Mr Duckett said: "I don't think the sentence is enough. All right, he's got 18 months but he'll be out in less than 12.
"We know he's a coward because he left me lying on the road.
"My wife Joan has been really badly shaken up by what happened and she's always looking behind her. At least now we know he's in jail.
"I don't regret asking him to stop using his phone. I'm the sort of person who would always speak out if I saw someone breaking the law. I'm just thankful for the goodwill of my neighbours who took his registration details because without them he might have got away with it.
"He just thinks he can do what he wants, leaving a senior citizen lying in the road. I'm more than twice his age."
Mark Fireman, defending Gorry, said the incident had been an "unfortunate one-off" but Judge Sycamore said Mr Duckett had sustained unpleasant injuries and the offence was aggravated by the fact that Gorry fled the scene. He had shown no remorse in reports prepared by the probation service.
The judge added: "This was a cowardly attack on a much older man."