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'Danger to public' jailed for 'nightmare' attack in vulnerable man's home

PUBLISHED: 07:30 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:39 09 July 2019

Andrew Bywater was jailed for at least seven-and-a-half years at Ipswich Crown Court  Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Andrew Bywater was jailed for at least seven-and-a-half years at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk Constabulary

A violent intruder who used his fists, a stick, a bottle and a stereo to beat a vulnerable man has been jailed for at least seven-and-a-half years.

Andrew Bywater left his victim "staring death in the eyes" during a brutal attack in his home over the matter of an unpaid £45 debt.

Eighteen stone, 6ft 2in Bywater was fuelled by cider and prescription drugs when he entered the Lowestoft flat through a window and woke his sleeping victim with a flurry of punches.

Ipswich Crown Court heard how the 30-year-old took advantage of the man's offer to accommodate a mutual friend by also occupying the Fir Lane address for three days before the attack on April 30.

Prosecutor Ed Renvoize said that, as a result, the householder vacated the property until he was confident Bywater had gone.

Soon after returning home, he was woken as Bywater used first his fists, and then a stick to beat him around the head.

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When the victim answered demands for money by suggesting he had only a few pennies in glass bottle, Bywater used it to continue the assault - until it smashed and he resorted to using a stereo.

Following Bywater's eventual departure via the front door, his victim leapt from a window and used a pay phone to call for help.

Bywater, who was found with bloodstained clothes inside a tent in a wooded area of Oulton Broad, told police his victim had engaged three knife wielding "smack heads" to threaten him into leaving the flat - compelling him to throw items in self defence.

He admitted attempted robbery at a plea hearing on June 6 and accepted his original account of events was a "load of rubbish", according to barrister Simon Walters, who said Bywater had spent much of a troubled childhood in care and had left prison without money or accommodation last October.

In a statement read to the court, his victim said: "My wounds will heal, but the memory of this nightmare will remain with me for the rest of my life."

Judge Martyn Levett described Bywater as a danger to the public, with a formidable record of 21 convictions for offences including battery and harassment.

At the time of the attempted burglary, he was subject to a conditional discharge for amphetamine possession.

He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years' custody with an extended two-and-a-half years licence period.

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