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Teenager gets five years for smothering his great grandma
9:00am Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
A teenage rugby player who smothered his 92-year-old great-grandmother with a cushion when she refused to lend him money has been locked up for five years.
“Powerfully built” Dion Groombridge, 17, attacked his frail victim on the sofa at her flat before rifling £80 from her purses, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.
She was found gasping for breath after she was attacked from behind.
Groombridge, formerly of Whinney Hill Park, Brighouse , was given a ten-year extended sentence of detention by Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, who branded him a public danger.
The teenager, who was 16 when he committed the offence, will serve five years in custody and five on licence.
He pleaded guilty to attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle his great-grandmother with intent to steal from her.
He also admitted theft of £80 from her and stealing £80 from his friend on June 22.
Prosecutor Ken Green said Groombridge’s great-grandmother was living an independent life in Elland when he attacked her.
She refused to lend him any more money because he had no means to repay her.
He called to see her on the morning of July 6 and came out of her flat “agitated, frightened and distressed”.
A relative found his great-grandmother slumped on her sofa with her head tilted backwards. She was breathing heavily, gasping and disorientated.
Two purses containing money for her cleaner and a cash float were empty.
She was taken to hospital and said Groombridge had tried to throttle her. She had marks and scratches on her face and neck and a bruised chin.
Groombridge told the police he put a cushion over her face when she would not lend him money.
He said “his head just went” and then he walked out as he “could not do it.” He was shocked by what he did and could have killed her.
In mitigation, his barrister, Stephen Wood, said he did not intend to kill or seriously injure his great-grandmother. Of previous good character, he was very sorry for the pain and anguish he had caused.
The judge said Groombridge was powerfully-built but immature and called what he had done as “a truly chilling offence”.
He said he had used a deeply troubling degree of force on a vulnerable, targeted, victim and it was only a matter of luck that he did not kill her.
“You placed and held and sustained a pillow or cushion over her face,” he said.
Groombridge, who appeared in the dock wearing an orange hooded top, pink shirt and red trousers, put his hands to his face as he was led to the cells.