Jailed for attack on disabled Motherwell grandmother

A man, who attacked a disabled Motherwell woman as she sat helpless in her wheelchair, has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Steven Kelly threatened to kill one-legged Ann Hamilton and throttled her until she passed out.

She is the mother of his ex-girlfriend and the grandmother of his young son.

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Hamilton Sheriff Court heard Ann had let him stay at her home in Vulcan Street, but he repaid her by launching the life-threatening assault after he had been drinking.

Kelly (30) claimed initially he was only trying to defend himself. He denied the assault, pleading self-defence at a pre-trial hearing in January.

But shortly before he was due to stand trial he held up his hands.

Kelly admitted assaulting Ann to her injury and the danger of her life at her home on October 20 last year.

The Crown deleted part of the charge which stated he held a knife against her body.

He also admitted trying to headbutt a police officer and resisting arrest.

Vish Kathuria, prosecuting, said the assault happened after Kelly returned to the house drunk.

Kelly’s lawyer said his client was remorseful.

He told the court: “He accepts this must have been a frightening experience for Miss Hamilton and appreciates a lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable.

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“I understand that, prior to this, they had a good relationship and he did shopping and decorating for her.

“He hopes to get assistance with regard to his drinking because, clearly, that’s what caused these problems.”

Sending him to prison, Sheriff Douglas Brown told Kelly: “This was an assault on a woman in her own home where she was entitled to feel safe.

“She allowed you to stay there so there is an element of breaching trust. She trusted you yet you acted in this way.

“Clearly she was a vulnerable person, being confined to a wheelchair, and what you did in compressing her neck was highly dangerous.

“She was, understandably, terrified and not just because of what you did, but because you actually threatened to kill her.

“You have a serious criminal record and a substantial prison sentence is appropriate.

“It would have been 36 months, but I’ll reduce it to 32 months because you pleaded guilty.”

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The sentence was backdated to October 23 as Kelly has been in custody since then.

Sheriff Brown told Kelly he will also be supervised for a year on his release from prison.

The sheriff explained: “This is because you require assistance to reduce your risk of re-offending.”