South Tyneside OAP relives 80th birthday ordeal after neighbour left her black and blue

May King after the attack.
May King after the attack.

A grandmother left black and blue by her neighbour on her 80th birthday because her friends were making "too much noise" has spoken publicly for the first time about her ordeal.

May King was on cloud nine after celebrating the milestone birthday with her nearest and dearest at The Kelly pub, in Hebburn, South Tyneside.

Victim May King.

Victim May King.

However, her night was ruined when neighbour Michael Raine lashed out at her on her own doorstep and accused her elderly friends of making "too much noise" while they quietly chatted

over a cigarette in the back garden.

After the surprise party, around 12 of May's family and friends decided to walk her home and stopped in for an hour to say goodnight.

But as the visitors started to trickle out of the house, Raine went and confronted the elderly group at around 2.30am.

Michael Raine.

Michael Raine.

As he marched down the drive, he barged into 72-year-old Anne Ovington, who in the chaos fell and twisted her ankle so badly she couldn't wear shoes for over a week.

May's granddaughter and friend tried to usher Raine, who was wearing his girlfriend's white dressing gown and flip flops, away.

But the 29-year-old thug then hit birthday girl May, who had politely asked him to leave, causing shocking bruises to her face and arms.

May, who lived on the street for 57 years, said: "My 80th birthday should have been a celebration. It turned into one of the most horrendous days of my life.

"When he hit me it just threw me completely.

"I didn't fall over, but my head was completely spinning.

"I couldn't really remember anything after that. I can still feel the impact of it to this day.

"My face went completely numb.

"When he came to the door he was giving it large and pointing and gesturing down to me.

"He was saying for us to keep the noise down, even though there was no noise at all.

"I think he waited until my ex-army sons had left before coming over.

"After it all he just left nonchalantly, as if nothing had happened.

"The hospital were most concerned about my eye socket, where the impact was, because I had two strokes within the recent few years."

May, now 81, spent over three hours in A&E, where she needed x-rays and tests before being discharged.

Upon his arrest last May, Raine, later of Olive Street, South Shields, was charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by beating before

eventually pleading guilty to a lesser single charge of affray at Newcastle Crown Court.

Two counts of assault will lie on file.

However, May and her family were devastated when their "neighbour from hell", who has previous convictions of assault, was allowed to walk free from court after sentencing.

He was handed just a 12-month suspended sentence and a two year restraining order.

Mother-of-five May said: "Anne was so badly injured in the fracas she could barely walk while my friend was struck in the head.

"I have spent hundreds on CCTV cameras to put around my house, so that I can be confident that I won't see him near.

"I have always been an outgoing person but now I am like a completely different person.

"I am basically a nervous wreck and I still struggle to get over it.

"I don't want to have to live like this.

"I used to go out every day but now I don't want to.

"My self confidence has been completely knocked by his actions - I am still receiving counselling because of it all."