Ricky Taylor awoke in the night to find the boy attempting to burgle his home
A 17-year-old boy from Chelmsford attacked a disabled homeowner with a candlestick after he was interrupted in the middle of burgling the house.
The victim, Ricky Taylor, suffered head wounds after he caught the boy in his Witham home on the night of June 12.
He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charge of GBH, but was found guilty by a jury on September 15.
The incident occurred whilst the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was carrying out a burglary with several others at the property, which he pleaded guilty to on the basis that he was acting as a lookout.
Today (Thursday, October 12), he was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court to seven years for GBH and two years for burglary to be served concurrently.
Prosecuting, Salya Chotalia read out a victim impact statement on behalf of Mr Taylor.
It read: “I am still having to see the healthy mind people due to the effect of the assault on me, I am snappy with people close to me and am jumpy.
“I am unable to sleep in my own bed upstairs. I sleep on the sofa still so that if anyone comes in they will see me and not my family.
“I have some scarring on my head where he hit me with the item. I would go out every now and then. I don’t feel comfortable now. I would rather stay at home so that someone is there.
“My family has been seriously affected. I am in a bad mood a lot of the time. My eldest daughter will not be in the house alone and she gets panic attacks if she sees a group of teenagers. My wife is also struggling to sleep and has panic attacks which she is receiving treatment for.”
Defending the teenager, Andrew Fitch-Holland relayed details of a psychotherapy assessment undertaken by the boy.
“The assessment confirmed he is a vulnerable young man,” he said.
“His remorse is given and flows throughout his letter to the victim.
“It shows a burgeoning sense of responsibility.
“It is clear from the reports that he had a very difficult upbringing. He experienced periods of homelessness and was not wholly supported in the family unit.
“He fell into the wrong crowd and his behaviour has been affected by them. They are older men. It in no way diminishes his role in that burglary.
“He found himself running with a group who did not provide him in anyway with the appropriate structure to lead his life on a better course. He is trying to put the most positive route forward that he can.”
The defendant had previously stated he was pressured to commit the burglary.
Judge Seeley said: “I am not at all persuaded that your role was limited to that of a lookout. Your evidence was wholly unconvincing. I am going to give you a full discount in relation to the guilty burglary plea.
“I do not accept that there was any significant pressure placed on you by any other co-defendants.”
Before handing him the sentence, Judge Jonathan Seely said he believes the victim was targeted.
He said: “I find that the victim was targeted because of his disability.
“In fact, you show little remorse. I do accept however, having seen you throughout the course of the trial, that you are immature even for someone as young as you are.
“Having taken into account that immaturity you should have greater reductions.”
The defendant was then given the sentence and burst into tears before being led out of the dock.