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Man jailed for brutal Chorley pensioner attack

Evelyn Birchall was attacked in her home. Photo: Granada Reports

A man has been jailed for more than six years after a brutal robbery of a pensioner in Chorley.

Andrew Hodgkinson, 36, of Ullswater Road, Chorley, pleaded guilty to robbery at a hearing at Preston Crown Court last month.

Today, Hodgkinson was jailed for six years and eight months, and was also given an extended licence for three years.

Andrew Hodgkinson, 36, has been jailed for more than six years. Credit: Lancashire Police

Police launched an investigation after 88-year-old Evelyn Birchall was woken from her sleep in her home on Aspen Gardens at around half past midnight on Saturday, August 26th to find Hodgkinson assaulting her and demanding money.

He pulled the pensioner from her bed and the assault continued before he ransacked the house.

Evelyn managed to crawl to a neighbour’s house to raise the alarm and the police were called.

She was taken by ambulance to Wigan Hospital suffering from a number of injuries, she has since made a recovery but still suffers from pain and 'lives in fear'.

Hodgkinson was found after a manhunt and arrested. Items of stolen jewellery were recovered from a shed at the house and he was subsequently charged.

Following the assault and the police appeal the community rallied round and Evelyn has been provided with extra security for her home.

In a statement provided to the court Mrs Birchall describes how the attack has affected her.

She says still lives in fear of Hodgkinson, even though she knows he is in prison and struggles to sleep, as she keeps waking up imagining someone is in her room.

Evelyn described how her great grandchildren were too scared to give her hugs after the attack because of her injuries and how Hodgkinson has taken her comfort and security, but that she is determined to get her confidence back.

Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of South CID, said:

This was a brutal and sustained assault on an elderly lady in her own home.

“The violence used on this vulnerable woman simply beggars belief and it is a miracle she was not more seriously injured.

“In 27 years of service I have never witnessed such levels of gratuitous violence.

“I welcome today’s sentence which reflects the gravity of Hodgkinson’s offending.”

– Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of South CID