herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Burglar who raped OAP jailed for vicious attack on grandad

ASSAULT: Man threatened to abuse children if victim spoke out

AN IRISH man with 67 previous offences, including the rape of an elderly woman in front of her husband, has been jailed indefinitely in Britain.

Dublin-born Michael McDonald (41), with an address at Canada Road, Erith, south-east London, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court for robbing Stephen Brown, who has learning difficulties, of £45 and some jewellery on January 30 this year.

But his criminal record, spanning back to the 1980s, and his propensity to target vulnerable or elderly people, made him a risk to the public and merited an indefinite prison sentence, according the judge.

The judge said: "You are a significant risk to members of the public, in particular, though not exclusively, to those who are vulnerable by age or otherwise."

He said McDonald had spent the majority of his adult life in prison and carried out the robbery against his latest victim while he was on licence following a prison sentence in 2007.

During the trial, jurors were told McDonald posed as a security guard to gain access to Mr Brown's Woolwich flat while his grandchildren slept in a bedroom and told him "If you do what I say, I won't abuse your children".

He took £45 from his wallet and took some bracelets that Mr Brown was wearing at the time, that were of "considerable sentimental value".





Boyfriend

When police arrested McDonald at his home on February 15 they found his boyfriend wearing one of the stolen bracelets taken from the flat, the court was told.

McDonald first came before Irish courts at the age of 14.

In 1986, aged 16, he was sent to youth custody after a conviction of robbery but his criminal activity continued. In 1995, aged 26, he was sentenced to a 10-year and five-year concurrent jail sentence for rape and aggravated burglary.

The court was told he tied up the husband in his own home and raped his 67-year-old wife in front of him.

After his release, he continued to offend -- targeting a residential home in Woolwich and he was convicted after leaving his DNA on a broken window.

In 2007, he broke into the same residential home but this time the owner -- a 71-year-old former royal marine -- wrestled him to the ground and "saw him off", the court was told.

He was given an indeterminate sentence at Woolwich Crown Court but this was reduced to four-and-a-half years on appeal.

For the latest offence the judge sentenced him to an indeterminate sentence for Public Protection with a minimum sentence before parole is considered of three years. If released, McDonald will be on licence for life.

hnews@herald.ie

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