Drunken Sunderland thug launched terrifying attack on disabled sister's carer

John Quinn has been locked up.
John Quinn has been locked up.

A drunken thug who launched a terrifying attack on his disabled sister's carer has been put behind bars.

John Quinn thought the worker had not spent enough time with his sibling at the family home so assaulted her then followed her to a nearby house and smashed his way in while armed with a knife.

The 29-year-old attacker, who has a long record for violence, carrying weapons and issuing threats, left the woman, who is in her early 20s, in fear for her life.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the carer had gone to Quinn's family home in Castletown, Sunderland, twice in one day in May last year and noticed he was "drunk".

It was when she was due to leave after the second visit that Quinn snapped.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said: "She was trying to do her job at the time. It is a vulnerable occupation, to go into people's houses to look after their family."

Miss Dowling added: "He was accusing her of not looking after his sister property, he pushed her in the shoulder then prevented her from leaving the


The court heard Quinn was pulled away by his father but then followed the carer outside and tried to pull her from her car.

The woman managed to get away to a nearby relative's house but the court heard Quinn had followed.

Miss Dowling said: "Quinn appeared outside of the address.

"He approached the front of the property and they could see at this stage he had a knife in his hand and was throwing plant pots at the living room window."

The court heard Quinn eventually smashed a front window and started climbing into the house, still carrying the knife, which forced the occupants to flee out of the back.

Quinn then started throwing rocks at an 87-year-old neighbour's house, who fortunately was not home.

The carer told police she was "in fear for her life" during the ordeal which made her shaken and scared.

She said: "I was in the home to care for John's disabled sister, literally there to add support for the family.

"I cannot understand whey he acted in that manner.

"I genuinely feared I was going to die."

Quinn, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to cause criminal damage, criminal damage, common assault, having a bladed article and affray.

Mr Recorder Richard Woolfall sentenced him to three years and two months behind bars with a restraining order to keep him away from the carer in future.

The judge told him: "You went about dealing with your concerns in an entirely inappropriate way."

Vic Laffey, defending, said Quinn is the father to a five-month old baby who he has not yet met due to being held on remand.

Mr Laffey said the birth has prompted Quinn to address his issues and look to a positive, trouble-free future.

He added: "If you are concerned about time being spent with our disabled sister you don't do this. He accepts that, without hesitation, now."