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

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 March 2018

North Somerset Courthouse.

North Somerset Courthouse.

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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.

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