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Indefinite jail sentence for shovel attack on Newton Abbot pensioners

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 18, 2012

JAILED:   Sean Garrod

JAILED: Sean Garrod

A SHOVEL-WIELDING intruder who attacked two pensioners in a day time raid has been jailed indefinitely.

Sean Garrod, 22, from Knights Mead, Chudleigh Knighton, hit 70-year-old cancer patient Daniel Hocking across the jaw with a shovel and then bit his 65-year-old friend Peter Whitfield on the arm in a struggle at Mr Hocking's home in Castlewood Avenue, Highweek.

Garrod was told that he was considered 'a dangerous individual' who posed a risk to the public when he was handed an indeterminate prison sentence at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday.

Recorder Michael Vere-Hodge QC said he would serve 12 years and would be considered for parole after six years.

The Recorder said: "Your lack of remorse is nothing to do with your immaturity, it is to do with something in your make up."

The court heard how Mr Hocking and Mr Whitfield were settling in to watch a rugby match on a Saturday afternoon when Garrod smashed his way into the property in Newton Abbot in March.

He had planned a revenge attack on Mr Hocking's grandson Daniel Steer, who lived at an annexe at the house but he was not at home at the time.

When Mr Hocking heard the break-in and went to investigate, Garrod attacked him.

And when Mr Whitfield tried to stop the intruder getting away, he was bitten on the arm.

He needed injections to treat potential infection after the attack.

Garrod denied aggravated burglary and two counts of ABH but was convicted after a trial earlier this year.

He maintained that he acted in self-defence, an account that was not accepted by the jury.

Recorder Vere-Hodge said that Garrod was still seeking to minimise his actions.

He said: "The ease with which you resort to violence means you represent a high risk which will not be reduced without significant psychological input and offender management.

"I have to say no lesser sentence is appropriate because of the seriousness of what you did and the way you behaved towards two elderly men."

After the hearing, investigating officer DC Victoria Hayman said the victims were not willing to speak publicly about the ordeal.

She said that they would be happy with the sentence.

DC Hayman said: "I am extremely pleased with the result. This was a particularly vicious assault on these two gentlemen on a quiet Saturday afternoon.

"I know that they will be extremely pleased with the result which reflects how dangerous this young man is and the severity of the incident."

The court was told that Garrod had attacked a prison officer while serving a 30-month sentence for knifepoint robbery.

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