Person knocks elderly man over fracturing his leg

Google Maps of centre of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, near the Howard Centre.

Dean Gray “cackled like a witch” as he sent the victim to the ground, fracturing his thigh bone. - Credit: Google Maps

A man with paranoid schizophrenia has been ordered to pay compensation of more than £1,000 to an elderly man he pushed over in Welwyn Garden City.

Dean Gray, 39, “cackled like a witch” as he sent the victim to the ground, fracturing his thigh bone on December 19, 2019, St Albans crown court heard.

The victim already had a fractured bone in his foot and was wearing a surgical boot when he was knocked to the ground by Mr Gray.

“The defendant pushed him over. The victim said he looked down and laughed like a witch’s cackle.  He walked away but turned around again towards the victim before leaving,” said prosecutor Brian Reece.

Gray told the police that the elderly man had his genitals out and had tried to sexually assault him. The prosecutor said CCTV proved what Gray told the police was wrong.

Gray of Sunningdale Mews, Welwyn Garden City appeared for sentence, having pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm.

In a victim personal statement, the older man said he had to pay for a care home while he recovered. He said he was afraid of going to the shops and felt vulnerable.

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Defending, Conall Bailey said: “The defendant had a mental disorder that was operative at the time and linked to the commission of this offence.”

He said Gray was on benefits and asked for a mental health sentence in the community.

Judge Sandeep Kainth told him: “This was an unprovoked assault. He was already in pain and you compounded that pain. The victim was minding his own business and was on his way to buy his food.”

The judge said Gray should pay £1,085 compensation to the man from his benefits, at the rate of £100 a month. He was also given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 12 months, must complete 15 rehabilitation days and attend a mental health treatment programme.