One-legged man attacked with glass and bleach in ‘frenzied’ attack in own home


A disabled man was assaulted in his own home suffering cuts to his arms, hands, and head, a court has heard.

An “out of control” Charlene Saunders attacked the one-legged man with a broken mirror while threatening to cut off his remaining leg and kill him. She also squirted bleach at him.

She was eventually dragged off her victim and spat in the face of the person who intervened.

Swansea Crown Court heard Saunders has a history of violent offending and had previously been held in the “naughty girls’ wing” of a women’s prison but because of an improvement in her behaviour is being readied for transfer to the “good girls’ wing”.

Dyfed Thomas said, prosecuting, said the incident took place at the victim’s flat in Neath on February 8 and that both parties were known to each other.

He said after gaining entry Saunders began throwing objects at the victim and “squirting liquid over him” before launching her attack.

The court heard the wheelchair user managed to call his sister and told her “she is cutting me, she is cutting me” and “she is throwing bleach over me”.

Mr Thomas said Saunders could also be heard in the background of the call shouting that she was going to kill the man.

The victim’s sister and two friends rushed to his Melin flat and found Saunders on top of her victim “stabbing at the complainant with bits of broken glass”. The barrister said one of the witnesses described the 33-year-old as being “out of control”.

Saunders was “restrained” by one of the new arrivals and taken to the bathroom of the flat where she spat in his face and mouth.

The court heard the victim of the spitting – a former boyfriend of the defendant – was concerned about any potential health implications given Saunders’ intravenous drug use.

Police were called to the flat and had to draw their Tasers during the arrest. The victim suffered cuts to his hands and arms consistent with “defensive wounds” and a cut behind one ear.

Saunders, of Sunnybank, Waunceirch, Neath, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) and battery when she appeared via videolink from Eastwood Park prison for sentencing on Monday.

The court heard Saunders had 34 previous convictions for 56 offences including a number for offences of violence. One common assault, committed as a youth, had seen her repeatedly punching a female train guard in the head at Bridgend station while another had seen her spitting at a custody officer in Swansea Central police station. A third involved her kicking a policeman in the groin while being arrested and a fourth saw her attack a woman in Neath town centre. She also has two convictions for inflicting actual bodily harm. In one case she stabbed a shop worker in the head with a pair of scissors in a store in Neath and in the other she acted as part of a group which repeatedly kicked and stamped on their victim.

Giles Hayes, for Saunders, conceded his client had an “unenviable” record and said she was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder after being exposed to domestic violence as a child.

He said while not an excuse for what had happened the defendant, her victim, and the people who had rushed to the disabled man’s aid were all part of a “drugs sub-culture” centred around Windsor Road in Neath.

The advocate said the scene in the flat was “chaotic” and said it was accepted by the prosecution that Saunders herself had suffered facial lacerations and a black eye during the incident.

Mr Hayes said on previous occasions Saunders had been an inmate in HMP Eastwood Park she had been held on the “naughty girls’ wing” because of her behaviour but she was now in the process of being prepared for a move to the “good girls’ wing” on account of her improved attitude.

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Judge Geraint Walters said it was clear that on the night in question Saunders had “lost it” and carried out a “frenzied attack” on her victim.

He told her that unless she tackled the underlying issued that led her to commit acts of violence there would come a time when a court would determine her to be a dangerous offender – a categorisation which wold mean she would receive extended sentences. He added: “We are not there yet but that is the way we are heading.”

Saunders was jailed for two and a half years. She will serve half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.

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