Attacker of St Albans pub landlady gets seven years behind bars
PUBLISHED: 11:03 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:06 27 June 2013
A PUB landlady from St Albans has been left with a permanent scar on her face after being attacked in her bed by a former worker.
Mary Taylor was repeatedly struck by Javier Garcia as she hid under a duvet, trying to call the police from The Robin Hood pub in Victoria Street.
Jailing Garcia, of Roland Street, St Albans, for seven years yesterday (Wednesday), Judge Stephen Warner said it was a gratuitous and vicious attack on a terrified woman who was alone in the building.
St Albans Crown Court heard the 32-year-old, who had taken drugs and drink, broke into the pub in the early hours of March 14. He had worked there until the end of last year, but had been sacked for not turning up.
Garcia stole the pub takings before going upstairs where Mrs Taylor had been sleeping. She had her mobile phone and was trying to call the police when he repeatedly hit her as she cowered under the duvet.
Injuries may have been caused by the phone she was holding striking her head.
The police arrived and Garcia was arrested outside the pub.
Prosecutor David Stanton said Mrs Taylor suffered a deep cut on her forehead, which has left a permanent 3cm scar over her left eye.
“She has tightness and pain in the area of the scar and suffers irritation. The victim was a vulnerable female on her own in commercial premises. It was a sustained attack. He knew Mrs Taylor was alone in the pub,” he said.
Garcia pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and burglary. He was of previous good character.
Defence barrister Jessica Dickason-Mitra said Garcia, who was aided by a Spanish interpreter, said Mrs Taylor had been a very generous employer. He believed he left his job at the pub of his own accord and said that he had not been sacked for not turning up for work.
At the time of the attack Garcia had been made homeless. He had been staying at friends’ homes on the days before the attack, but on the night had been sleeping in the library car park.
She said: ”He went into the pub knowing if he could break he could stay overnight. He was under the influence of drink and drugs and things were not clear in his mind. He did not got with the intention to steal or cause violence.
“He formed the intention to steal some money and panicked when he heard Mrs Taylor on the phone. He went to stop her calling for help.”
Despite his cocaine addiction, she said he had come to St Albans to earn money for his mother and sister in Spain.
Judge Warner said: “She was terrified that an intruder was in her home. It was a gratuitous and vicious attack on her. The victim was vulnerable and sustained a repeated assault.
“She is at a loss to understand why you felt the need to attack her. It has a lasting effect on her.”
The judge said when he is released from his sentence Garcia will face deportation.
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