A woman who attacked her elderly mother with a lamp, breaking bones in her body, is to be detained in a mental health unit.
The 56-year-old woman, who was a full-time carer for the pensioner at her home in Luton, carried out the assault out of the blue.
The victim, who is in her 80s, told Luton Crown Court that her daughter became her carer last year following the death of her husband in 2015.
She woke at around 7am on Saturday 18 June this year and, as she went to the bathroom, saw her daughter sitting on her bed in the room where she had been sleeping. The daughter got up and they clashed shoulders. The grandmother fell and her daughter went back into the bedroom.
Giving evidence via a video link she said: “I fell and she came out and started to hit me. She had a lamp in her hand. She kept hitting me.”
The elderly woman said she suffered four gashes to her head, four broken bones in a right foot and a gash to her left hand.
She said that her daughter was very quiet and kept things inside herself. “She is not a girl who would harm anyone,” she said.
Under cross examination by Alex Britton, defending, she said it was just her and her daughter in the house at the time.
After the assault, the daughter rang her son, who came to the address. He called for an ambulance. He told the jury: “I ran upstairs. I saw my Nan lying on the floor in lots of pain, saying help me. There were a lot of blood stains.”
The jury of 7 men and 5 women was told by Judge Michael Kay QC that the case was unusual because the defendant was unfit to stand trial for medical reasons and was being treated in a psychiatric unit. He said: “It is not a normal trial where you would find her guilty or not guilty. She has a mental disability and is not fit to stand trial.”
They were told they would have to decide if she carried out the acts that were charged against her, causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent.
After retiring for a short time, the jury found that she had carried out the acts.
Mr Britton said that a hospital order for his client was “the best way forward.” He said: “She is in hospital getting treatment. For the court to make a hospital order, two reports from psychiatrists have to be prepared.”
Judge Kay adjourned the case until 16 November saying the sentence was “inevitable.”
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Appearing via video link, Alex Britton from Lawtons continued this case on Wednesday 16th November 2016.
On the 16th the court was told that the victim had made a recovery and had talked to her daughter on the phone. Mr Britton told the judge that his client was too unwell to appear by a video link from the Psychiatric unit in Wickford, Essex.
Sentencing her in her absence, Judge Kay said: “This was a terrible assault. At the time the defendant was mentally unwell and is still experiencing severe depressive episodes. It is appropriate for her to be detained. I am satisfied appropriate medical treatment is available for her.”
He made an order detaining her under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act.
To find out more about GBH; take a look at sentencing and procedure guidelines.