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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Tortured elderly man lucky to avoid life-changing injuries - police

Police say a vulnerable man who was ordered to strip naked before being tied and beaten with a pool cue was lucky to escape without injuries that would ruin his life.

Officers described the humiliating ordeal – labelled “torture” by a judge – as a “mindless” assault, adding violence would not be tolerated as sentences were handed out to the those who carried out the attack.

Nathanial Rudd, 25, of Robert Owen Place, Cleator Moor, Paul Woods, 34, of Greens Yard, Cockermouth and Bethany Percival, 20, of Jefferson Park, Whitehaven, all appeared at Carlisle Crown Court to answer for their part.

They admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, with Rudd also admitting a charge of theft.

Jail terms were handed out to Rudd and Woods while Percival was spared immediate custody, being given instead a suspended sentence.

In pictures taken in police custody, Rudd is seen to smile at the camera. The victim was said to have been left “bloody and crying”.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Paul Hulse told the News & Star: “The brutal attack on this elderly man was mindless.

“They humiliated him and subjected him to a vicious assault. The victim was fortunate not to have suffered any life-changing injuries.”

The attack happened at Woods’ home in October when a man, referred to in court only as Mr Lawson, went to the property.

Rudd and Percival, who was Woods’ girlfriend at the time, were also there.

All three appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and may have been taking drugs.

Rudd accused Mr Lawson of stealing property from him and accused him of stealing money from him.

Mr Lawson then tried to calm the situation by taking off his jacket and offering Rudd the chance to search it, which he did, stealing £120. The man was later told to strip. Percival was the first to attack him when she jumped on him and scratched his face. Rudd hit him on the hands and feet with a baseball bat.

Woods sat him on a chair and Mr Lawson was taped to it, then hit across his body with half a pool cue.

Rudd was jailed for 33 months – 32 of which were for the assault and one for the theft. Woods was sent to prison for 27 months.

Percival was given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, a 12-month community order and a 15-week curfew, meaning she must stay indoors between 8pm and 6am.

DC Hulse added: “The sentence imposed demonstrates how violence of this nature is not tolerated in Cumbria.”

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