Man in flowery dressing gown attacked elderly woman over 'noisey' 80th birthday party

Michael Raine
Michael Raine

An attacker lashed out at an elderly neighbour when he went to complain about the noise being made at her 80th birthday party.

Michael Raine, who had drank up to ten cans of Stella lager, caused injury and fear when he turned up at the pensioner's home in the early hours of the morning to tell her and her guests to keep it down.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the woman had held her 80th birthday celebrations at The Kelly pub in Hebburn last May and the party continued back at her home.

Trouble flared when Raine, 29, who was living next door, turned up, wearing his girlfriend's pyjama bottoms, her flip flops and flowery dressing gown, and told them "keep the noise down".

In the violence that followed, the 80-year-old host suffered bruising to her cheek, chin, jaw, neck and arms.

Her 71-year-old pal, who Raine "barged into", twisted her ankle, which was left so swollen she was unable to wear shoes for a week.

Two other guests suffered bruising and reddening in the "chaos ".

The party host told police after the party: "My 80th birthday should have been a celebration. It turned into one of the most horrendous days of my life."

The court heard the violence has effected many aspects of the pensioner's life and left her suffering nightmares.

She added: "I didn't dare leave my home.

"Before, I would go out every day to go shopping. Life has been put on hold since.

"I do feel I was lucky as at my age, with my health problems, it could have been much worse.

"My family has been so worried about me. I wish I could go back to the person I was before."

The injured 71-year-old said she felt worried for her friend and was wary when going to church and when visitors came to her door.

Prosecutor Alec Burns told the court the noise from the party had woken Raine's girlfriend and her child.

As Raine approached the party, he barged into the 71-year-old guest, who twisted her ankle.

He then confronted the 80-year-old host and told her "keep the noise down".

When a woman guest told Raine to "go home " he lashed out and hit her face.

In response to his violent outburst, other guests intervened and Raine was stamped on while he was on the floor during a fight with a young male .

Raine then got involved in a struggle with another female.

Mr Burns added: "The birthday lady tried to get the defendant off her and she was struck in the face at that point.

"It is accepted he would not necessarily have known he was striking an 80-year-old, given the chaos that was going on, but he did."

Raine, of Olive Street, South Shields, who has a record for violence, disorder and dishonesty ,has now moved to a different town.

He pleaded guilty to affray and has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme and rehabilitation requirements.

The judge said: "On the night in question the lady in question was having her 80th birthday. They had been out, came home in the early hours and there was a lot of noise.

"One can understand you might want to go out and have a word. I suspect at that point, no-one would blame you for asking could you keep the noise down.

"One of the things one should never do, when drink is on board, is take on other people.

"It will escalate into a completely different environment and that is what did happen here."

The judge said Raine has stayed out of trouble since 2014 and is at a "crossroads" where his life could stay on a positive path with his long term partner, who had asked him to speak to the neighbours about the noise that night after her and her child got woke up but played no part in any violence.

Peter Schofield, defending, said Raine had good employment references and prospects and had not gone out looking for trouble that night.

Mr Schofield added: "Unfortunately the victims are rather elderly. He had no means of assessing their age.

"During the course of the incident he was subjected to unlawful violence meted out to him as well."