Burglar who punched disabled St Columb man in face 'should have got 20 years'
A DISABLED St Columb man said the burglar who barged into his home and repeatedly punched him in the face should have been jailed for 20 years.
Edward Bridgewater was sentenced to six years behind bars after he attacked Patrick Fuery at his Trekenning Road home in the early hours of July 4 last year.
The 29-year-old barged into Mr Fuery's home, pushed him to the ground and jumped on top of him before striking him repeatedly in the face.
But Mr Fuery, 65, who has suffered four strokes and needs a walking stick to get around, told the Cornish Guardian that his attacker should have got a longer prison sentence.
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"He wants to be locked up for 20 years," said the father of two, who has since moved house because he no longer felt able to live in his previous home as a result of the attack.
"They have dealt with him. I am just happy that it happened to me as everyone else up there is 80 or older."
The retired postman said he was determined not to let the attack have a lasting effect on him.
Bridgewater, of Trevarrian, Watergate Bay, was unanimously convicted at Truro Crown Court last Wednesday of burglary and assaulting Mr Fuery, causing him actual bodily harm. He has always denied the offences.
Sentencing Bridgewater, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, said the offence was of a "truly despicable nature".
"You knew the bungalow was occupied by a frail, elderly man suffering from the after-effects of four successive strokes," he said.
Philip Lee, for the prosecution, told the court Bridgewater had appeared at Mr Fuery's home out of the blue last July and asked for somewhere to sleep, saying his grandmother used to live there, but was refused. Bridgewater then attacked Mr Fuery.
Convicted eight times since 2002 for offences including violence, Bridgewater left before police arrived and was found in a bus shelter nearby with Mr Fuery's door key. He was aggressive and intoxicated when arrested.
Bridgewater denied going into the bungalow and claimed Mr Fuery was aggressive, hitting him with his stick and saying he was not welcome in the garden.
Questioned by his counsel, Emma Birt, Bridgewater stressed that in the past he had always pleaded guilty and had never before had a trial.
"When he attempted to strike me a third time I grabbed the stick, threw it away and said 'You are not so cocky now', that was it."
He claimed there was no physical contact between them and he walked off to the bus stop to await a bus to Truro, where he had accommodation in Chyvelah Ope.
After the jury had convicted Bridgewater, Mr Lee revealed that more recently he had been dealt with for drunkenness, criminal damage and possession of cocaine and cannabis.