‘Danger to public’ jailed for ‘nightmare’ attack in vulnerable man’s home
- Credit: Suffolk Constabulary
A violent intruder who used his fists, a stick, a bottle and a stereo to beat a vulnerable man has been jailed for at least seven-and-a-half years.
Andrew Bywater left his victim "staring death in the eyes" during a brutal attack in his home over the matter of an unpaid £45 debt.
Eighteen stone, 6ft 2in Bywater was fuelled by cider and prescription drugs when he entered the Lowestoft flat through a window and woke his sleeping victim with a flurry of punches.
Ipswich Crown Court heard how the 30-year-old took advantage of the man's offer to accommodate a mutual friend by also occupying the Fir Lane address for three days before the attack on April 30.
Prosecutor Ed Renvoize said that, as a result, the householder vacated the property until he was confident Bywater had gone.
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Soon after returning home, he was woken as Bywater used first his fists, and then a stick to beat him around the head.
When the victim answered demands for money by suggesting he had only a few pennies in glass bottle, Bywater used it to continue the assault - until it smashed and he resorted to using a stereo.
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Following Bywater's eventual departure via the front door, his victim leapt from a window and used a pay phone to call for help.
Bywater, who was found with bloodstained clothes inside a tent in a wooded area of Oulton Broad, told police his victim had engaged three knife wielding "smack heads" to threaten him into leaving the flat - compelling him to throw items in self defence.
He admitted attempted robbery at a plea hearing on June 6 and accepted his original account of events was a "load of rubbish", according to barrister Simon Walters, who said Bywater had spent much of a troubled childhood in care and had left prison without money or accommodation last October.
In a statement read to the court, his victim said: "My wounds will heal, but the memory of this nightmare will remain with me for the rest of my life."
Judge Martyn Levett described Bywater as a danger to the public, with a formidable record of 21 convictions for offences including battery and harassment.
At the time of the attempted burglary, he was subject to a conditional discharge for amphetamine possession.
He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years' custody with an extended two-and-a-half years licence period.