Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Woman spared jail after assaulting disabled man on ‘end-of-life support’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 March 2018

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.


A disabled man who is on ‘end-of-life support’ says he ‘does not feel safe in his own home’ after being assaulted on his doorstep.

Karen Martin, from Weston-super-Mare, was found guilty after a trial of assaulting two police officers and an elderly man. She pleaded guilty to a criminal damage charge.

North Somerset Courthouse was told Martin, of Puttingthorpe Drive, visited the home of Leonard Starkey on November 21 where she angrily knocked and shouted before forcing her way in through the front door.

Prosecutor Michael Collins said: “Mr Starkey can only be described as on end-of-life support and is in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank and, while he is just under 70 years old, is seriously ill.

“He heard a loud banging on the door and a number of comments and allegations against him.”

Mr Collins explained how the victim had opened the door and saw 47-year-old Martin stood with a young child. He attempted to close the door when she pushed it, causing him to fall to the floor.

She continued to shout at him and the police were called while she was still at the house.

PC Jewell and PC Smith arrived at the scene and tried to speak to Martin about what had happened but she hit out at them and used a hammer to smash the windows of their police car.

Mr Collins said the officers had ‘not seen anything like it in their years of service’.

The court was told Mr Starkey suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and is being investigated for heart disease. He is also type two diabetic and is on palliative care.

In a statement, he said: “I have struggled to sleep since the incident due to not feeling safe in my own house.

“I am concerned for the safety of myself and my wife but also for our family who live locally.

“Every noise I hear, I am looking out of my windows for fear Karen might return.

“She grabbed my throat which caused my lymphoma to flare up.”

The events were recorded on a dictaphone which Martin carried with her on the day.

Martin was handed a 12-month community order on February 21 with a 20-day rehabilitation requirement. She was also handed two restraining orders and told not to contact Leonard Starkey or his wife Ann for five years.

She was also ordered to pay a total of £750 in compensation across the four charges.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

44 minutes ago

A replacement bus service has been found for an area of Weston where fears were raised people would be left isolated without access to public transport.

Read more

The man behind one of Weston-super-Mare’s most popular restaurants has opened a new eatery, offering flavours from the Mediterranean.

Read more

Thousands of pounds have been spent by a parish council as it hopes to curb speeding on one of North Somerset’s busiest roads.

Read more

A McDonald’s restaurant in Worle has underdone a £750,000 refit.

Read more

A developer has promised hundreds of thousands of pounds to a North Somerset village to improve infrastructure.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Talented entrepreneurs have a ‘fantastic’ opportunity to take their business to the next level thanks to a Mercury competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A library committee is encouraging people to make their voices heard.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

Hundreds of jobseekers flocked to Weston-super-Mare’s Winter Gardens in search of a new career.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

A Weston-super-Mare poet and author has immortalised the moment the world’s most famous band visited Birnbeck Pier.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

More affordable homes could be built in North Somerset after a major housing association merged with another firm.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder