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88-year-old Barrhead pensioner repeatedly slapped and spat at by drunken thug

An 88-year-old woman was attacked by a drunk thug in her own home.

Andrew Craig slapped and spat at the pensioner after turning up at her Barrhead home and refused to leave. Paisley Sheriff Court heard the 49-year-old and his partner Elizabeth McGrath had been evicted from their property over anti-social behaviour.

Ms McGrath had then moved in with her mother, Agnes in Carlibar Road. But after spending the day drinking, drunk Craig turned up at the house he repeatedly slapped the elderly woman then punched his girlfriend and pulled her hair, the Paisley Daily Express reports.

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Craig appeared in the dock on Friday having spent the last 15 weeks in prison on remand. Procurator fiscal depute Edwin Sheeran told the court Elizabeth and Craig have been in an on/off relationship for five years.

Mr Sheeran said: "At around 8.30pm on April 7, both Agnes and Elizabeth McGrath were within the property when the accused attended at the front door. An argument took place at that time and the accused entered the property and sat down on the sofa.

"Agnes McGrath tried to contact police and Craig slapped the back of her head then slapped her right cheek before spitting on the right side of her face. Agnes requested he leave and Elizabeth tried to get him to leave, but he punched her several times to the chest and pulled her hair.

"The accused then left at this point and the witnesses heard him saying, 'What the f**k you gonna do about it?' At 9.15pm, police attended and noted Agnes was upset and angry.

"Elizabeth gave an account of her assault and that she seen the accused assault her mother. The accused was traced, arrested and held in custody."

Craig's defence solicitor told the court the relationship between Elizabeth and Craig - who is a father of two daughters - was "ongoing", with her visiting him weekly in prison.

She said: "Mr Craig speaks with his partner almost daily on the telephone and there are no problems. He is now 49 and his offending behaviour didn't start until 2011.

"Alcohol is at the root of his entire offending history. On this evening, he had been evicted from his accommodation.

"Ms McGrath returned to her mother's home and he had nowhere to go. He spent the day drinking alcohol and turned up in the hope to stay the night and he is disgusted with himself.

"He is grateful there was no injury caused, but he remains disgusted with his conduct."

Sentencing, Sheriff Gillian Craig said: "I'm sure in the cold light of day when you look at your actions that you are horrified. This was an assault on a 88-year-old woman and an assault of your partner where you repeatedly - and I take note of the word 'repeatedly' - punched her on the body and seized her by the hair, and as such, I see no alternative than a custodial sentence."

Sheriff Craig locked up the brute, who was described as a prisoner of Low Moss, for 12 months backdated to April 8.


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