‘Horrific’ assault on elderly couple saw man ‘use light bar like a sword’ to repeatedly hit woman before attacking her husband with a walking frame

Mark Hanson was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by bea

Mark Hanson was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by beating. - Credit: Archant

A man who subjected an elderly couple to a “horrific” assault after barging into their home, “used a light bar like a sword” to repeatedly hit the woman before assaulting her husband with a walking frame.

Mark Hanson was later charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of assault by beating.

Hanson pleaded guilty to all three offences at Cambridge Crown Court when sentenced was adjourned.

Last Tuesday (August 18) he was jailed for six months. However, he had already served the time while remanded in custody so was released.

Hanson was also handed a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting the victims in the case.

The court was told that after knocking on the door of an elderly couple he did not know during the evening of January 11, Hanson barged in, sat down in their kitchen, and took his coat off. The 39-year-old, who lives in Black Lane, Gorefield, spoke nonsense to the couple and took off another layer of clothing.

Without warning, Hanson then ripped the light bar from the kitchen ceiling and hit the elderly woman with it repeatedly - including to the head. The attack left the woman with a black eye.

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Hanson then hit the man with a bin lid or walking frame and moved into the living room where he was described as using the light bar like a sword.

He pulled down the couple’s curtains and smashed a light bulb from a lamp in the living room.

The couple called the police and Hanson, who was still in their living room when they arrived, was arrested.

Earlier that night, Hanson had already banged at the door of another couple’s house just after 8pm.

They lived on the same street as Hanson and knew his late grandmother. They noticed Hanson was wearing a t-shirt and was shivering, so let him in the house to make sure he was OK.

The pair made Hanson a hot drink and tried to talk to him, but noticed he did not appear to make much sense. They eventually persuaded him to leave but he returned 10 minutes later.

Hanson had a cut to his hand and claimed this was from trying to get into the couple’s house. The pair let him in again to clean up the cut and made him a drink for a second time. Hanson then left the house.

However, he returned for a third time, just before 9.30pm, and staggered into the couple’s hallway claiming he had been assaulted.

Hanson said he had been hit round the legs with a metal bar but the couple could see no injuries.

The pair urged Hanson to leave and claimed they could do no more for him. They tried to usher him out the house but, in the scuffle, Hanson knocked the woman’s nose causing it to bleed.

Once Hanson had left the driveway the pair called the police.

Det Sgt Justin Parr said: “Being attacked in your own home by a man who is essentially a stranger is something we all fear.

“Hanson took advantage of the kind nature of his victims, one couple being elderly. His behaviour on this day was nothing short of horrific.

“I hope the sentence imposed, together with the restraining order, allows his victims to move on from what happened and feel safer in their homes.”

Hanson’s former partner wrote about her time with him in a post on the Policing Fenland Facebook page.

She wrote: “I was with him for six years. But I left him due to violence

“I’m surprised his actually been allowed back to his home where one of his victims is a few seconds away from his. “Our system is wrong because they never helped me when I called them as he was absolutely abusing me; they just gave him warnings.”

Another post said: “Six months? How pathetic, he terrorised “those couples, forced entry into one, caused deliberate damage to their property, and gets six months!

“He should be held responsible for the damage, and at least six years in prison.”