Thug battered ex-pal's mum with iron wheel brace Michael Gallagher; MAN CLIMBED THROUGH PENSIONER'S WINDOW.
Byline: JONATHAN HUMPHRIES Court Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org @jhumphriesecho
AN "AGITATED" thug climbed through the window of a pensioner's flat and battered her with a metal bar after falling out with her son.
Michael Gallagher had argued with Glyn Bell earlier in the day, but took his frustration out on Mr Bell's innocent mum, 70-year-old Christine Bell, at her flat in Birkdale. Gallagher, 34, was jailed for six years and nine months at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, after pleading guilty to aggravated burglary and assault causing actual bodily harm.
The terrified victim told police: "I have always tried to help people but this incident will make me think twice in the future. I put myself out to try and help Michael, who I was led to believe was down on his luck. This is what makes what happened even harder to understand. I feel betrayed and will find it difficult to trust people again."
Fiona McNeill, prosecuting, told the court Gallagher had been living in a caravan with his friend, who is Mr Bell's uncle.
However, he was asked to leave on September 13 last year, after a scuffle with Mr Bell which left Gallagher with an injury to his face.
Gallagher, now of Albany Road, in Southport, later went to Ms Bell's address looking for her son. She described him as "agitated" and said she asked him to leave.
The sentencing judge, Recorder Sarah Johnston, described how, rather than leaving Ms Bell alone, Gallagher armed himself with the "fearsome" weapon and returned.
She said: "You climbed in through her bedroom window and hit her to the face and arm with that weapon. At some stage, she fell to the floor and you tried to hit her again.
"She was screaming for help and mercifully those screams were heard by her neighbour who came to her aid, and you fled."
The court heard Ms Bell was fortunately not seriously hurt and suffered a minor injury to her face.
But a victim personal statement, read in court, said: "I have suffered nightmares where a male has been standing over me with a metal bar.
"I am suffering flashbacks and heightened anxiety. I jump and panic at every noise I hear.
"I am still very shaken and washed out and even going to the doctors was an ordeal.
"I was booked on a short holiday with a friend. As a result of this incident, we have had to cancel the trip. I will be out of pocket and feel obligated to repay my friend. This was supposed to be a holiday to cheer me up after a recent operation."
Geoff Lowe, defending, said his client had suffered with a long-term mental health condition and with drug and alcohol addiction.
He said Gallagher had made multiple attempts to take his own life, including once since his arrest, but had stabilised due to treatment while in custody.
Detective Inspector Robbie Moss, of Merseyside Police, said: "This was a brutal attack on a woman in her own home which left the victim with a facial injury and extremely distressed, but thankfully with no lasting injuries.
"We will continue to act on information to ensure that violent offenders are brought before the courts and removed from the communities in which they cause harm."