Terrifying | 

Thug arrested boarding flight to Ireland jailed for 'horrific' attack on disabled man

Bradley Nolan kicked away the man's walker before the assault and asked "where are your drugs? Where's your money?"

Bradley Nolan

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A man who was arrested at Leeds Bradford airport while trying to get a flight to Ireland to see his mother has been jailed following an “horrific” attack on a disabled man.

Bradley Nolan, who was distraught at his mother "abandoning" him to live in Ireland, had earlier carried out the attack on the now 61-year-old in front of his grandchildren who were aged just eight and five.

Nolan was arrested at the airport on January 9 after the terrifying New Year's Day incident in which he attacked his terrified victim with his own walker.

Nolan (24) of The Garth, Cottingham, admitted aggravated burglary on January 1.

Richard Davies, prosecuting, said that the disabled man had been asleep in a ground-floor flat in Burden Road, Beverley, at 6am that morning when he was awoken by Nolan shouting at him to wake up.

Nolan who had been staying at a nearby flat for New Year's Eve yelled: "Get up and come out here."

The man got out of bed and went into the living room where Nolan kicked away his walker, causing him to fall into a sofa.

He turned around holding a knife and asked the man: "Where are your drugs? Where's your money?"

Nolan then punched him in the face several times and cut up a packet of codeine tablets belonging to the victim before handing half back to him.

Mr Davies said the complainant was scared and fearful for his grandchildren as Nolan went to them and said: "Have you got a phone? You had better not have phoned the police."

He picked up the walker and hit the man on the legs. As he is paralysed, he could not feel the blows, the court heard, but “the defendant punched the complainant in the back twice and pushed him onto the bed,” Mr Davies added.

Nolan picked up a flat screen TV in the bedroom and walked out with it. He also took a wallet and phone from the living room.

The man had suffered cuts to the bridge of his nose and his chest. The TV was found in the doorway of the place where Nolan had been staying.

The man later said: "I am quite fearful of living in my flat now in case the male comes back and tries to rob me again."

Two fingerprints were recovered from a window frame and Nolan was arrested on January 9 at Leeds Bradford airport trying to get a flight to Ireland, where his mother lived.

Charlotte Baines, mitigating, said that Nolan claimed that he had no recollection at all of the incident because he was under the influence of drink and drugs at the time of committing the "appalling and horrific offence".

"He was really struggling with the feeling that his mother was abandoning him," said Miss Baines.

"He was low in mood and not dealing with it properly. He turned to drink initially and was binge drinking and, on top of that, getting hold of illicit medication and using cocaine."

Nolan had no previous convictions but had two cautions. "This offending us wholly and utterly out of this defendant's character," said Miss Baines.

"He has committed an extremely serious offence. He has expressed meaningful remorse. He is usually, as he put it, a 'good lad'."

In a letter that he read to the court, Nolan said it was a "horrific crime" and it was out of character.

"I am usually a hardworking young man," he said. "I wouldn't dream of doing anything like this to someone."

He had "slowly started going off the rails" and things "went from bad to worse".

He said: "If I could turn back the clock, so many things would be different. It was one stupid moment of madness.

"I would not plan to go out and burgle someone. It was one moment of madness. It was totally out of character for me. Sorry."

Judge John Thackray QC told Nolan: "Your victim was a vulnerable 61-year-old man. He was at home asleep, babysitting his two grandchildren, aged eight and five.

"He was entitled to feel safe and secure whilst being at home, whilst looking after his grandchildren. What transpired was every person's worst nightmare.

"You managed to get into his property somehow. You soon realised that your victim was vulnerable and disabled. You had the opportunity to turn and run. Instead, you stayed and threatened and attacked your victim.

"You punched him repeatedly and threatened him with the knife you were brandishing. You hit him with a weapon, mainly his own walker. You attacked him in front of his grandchildren.

"It was a repeated and sustained attack and it's only good fortune that the physical injuries were not more serious. He was understandably terrified. Some people never recover from an incident like this, especially those of mature years and those who are vulnerable."

Nolan was jailed for six years and nine months.

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