Martin Middleton jailed for OAP James Robertson attack
A man with 49 convictions has been jailed for attacking a pensioner and stealing his car to avoid a long walk home after being thrown out of a party.
Martin Middleton, 30, attacked 76-year-old James Robertson after breaking into his house in Stevenston, North Ayrshire, on 4 July last year.
He was caught after his DNA was found on a plastic bag outside the house.
Middleton was jailed for six years and fourth months after he admitted the break-in and assault.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by attempting to set fire to the car and by throwing the keys into the sea.
The High Court in Glasgow was told that Middleton, who stayed in a homeless hostel in Ardrossan, was asked to leave a noisy party in Kilwinning by police on 3 July.
He asked officers to take him to where he was staying and when they refused he started walking.
Mr Robertson, who lives with his sister, went to bed around 22:55 but was woken when Middleton broke into his house in the early hours of the following morning.
When he tried to force the intruder out of his home, Middleton punched the pensioner, who fell and hit his head.
Middleton then took the keys to his Vauxhall Astra and drove off, leaving Mr Robertson lying injured on the floor.
The pensioner then called 999 call and told the operator that there had been a break in and he had been assaulted.
During the call he was heard becoming confused and vomiting and was told an ambulance and the police were on the way.
The court heard that Mr Robertson suffered two black and swollen eyes and had bruising and scratches to his back.
He required surgery last September after a CT scan showed bleeding on his brain.
Officers at the scene saw that a window to Mr Robertson's house had been smashed which allowed the key to be turned from inside through the hole in the window.
An orange plastic bag was found in the driveway and a forensic examination showed Middleton's DNA was on the handle.
The 30-year-old, who has 49 previous convictions including assault to severe injury and robbery, was caught and admitted the charges against him.
Jailing him, judge Lord Doherty branded the offence "despicable".