Burglar jailed for beating up heart patient

David McCully
David McCully
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A BURGLAR who beat up a heart patient during a raid at his home has been put behind bars.

David McCully, of Villette Road, Hendon, Sunderland, punched and kicked Philip Robertshaw, who was recovering from recent heart surgery, leaving him struggling for breath.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the brave 59-year-old, who had grabbed hold of the stranger when he caught him raiding his house, said the ordeal has left him living “on a knife edge”. A judge branded the attack “terrifying”.

McCully, 20, who was on bail for a savage street assault on another stranger when he targeted the grandfather’s home last December and has convictions for 37 previous offences, has been jailed for two

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The court heard it was just two months before the house raid McCully punched James Crosby unconscious for no reason as he made his way along Park Lane in Sunderland after celebrating his 50th birthday in the city.

Mr Crosby was knocked out for 15 minutes, lost three teeth, needed 12 staples to a wound on the back of his head and still suffers pain.

McCully admitted unlawful wounding and burglary.

Mr Recorder Andrew Stubbs QC sentenced McCully to a total of two years behind bars.

The judge told him: “If you pause for a moment to think about how terrifying it must have been and how upsetting it must have been to find someone in your house, I would hope you would rethink before you did it again.”

The court heard it was on December 10 last year Mr Robertshaw had been watching television with his grandson when McCully crept into his home, in Houghton.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court: “Mr Robertshaw managed to take hold of the defendant and they fell to the ground.

“The defendant dropped a car radio he had stolen from the wash-house.

“He punched Mr Robertshaw in the face about four times and Mr Robertshaw was also kicked.

“Mr Robertshaw described struggling for breath after the incident.”

In a victim impact statement Mr Robertshaw said he was worried the raider would return to his home.

He said: “I am anxious all the time, I don’t sleep well.

“I am constantly worried it could happen again.

“I am living, it feels, on a knife edge.

“I couldn’t cope if it happens again.”

Speaking after the case, Mr Robertshaw said: “I’m just glad this is all over and he’s been put out of harm’s way and can’t do this to anyone else.

“Now, I just want to forget about things and get on with my life.”

Michael Hodson, defending, said McCully is now determined to stop offending and turn his life around.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho