Wednesday 22 November 2017

Woman facing jail for torturing 'sugar daddy' pensioner with hot iron

Stock picture
Stock picture

Emily Pennink

A woman is facing jail for beating up a "Sugar Daddy" pensioner with a Canals of England picture and torturing him with a hot iron.

Gordon Bland, 79, offered Samantha Butler, 40, cash to "help her out a bit" after meeting her in his local pub.

When they got back to his flat in Crystal Palace, south-east London, she immediately hit him over the back of the head and vowed to kill him, he said.

She went on to batter him with a picture frame, throttle him with an electrical cable and repeatedly brand him with his iron.

Butler admitted causing Mr Bland's wounds, which included bleeding on the brain, but denied trying to kill him and claimed the iron must have fallen on him.

A jury at the Old Bailey deliberated for less than an hour to find Butler not guilty of attempted murder but guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The court heard Butler had 35 previous convictions for 91 offences including theft, assaulting a police officer and child cruelty.

Giving evidence, Mr Bland said he met Butler for the first time on July 9 2016 at a pub called the Royal Albert where he was a regular customer.

He drank four pints, on top of two he had consumed earlier, and struck up conversation with Butler who was sitting on the stool next to him, jurors were told.

Mr Bland said the topic of sex "was not directly spoken about" and he denied the suggestion by Butler's lawyer that he was "all over her" at the bar.

He said that sex was mentioned in that he discussed with her "a sort of Sugar Daddy arrangement".

Mr Bland said he offered to "help her out a bit" with her rent, adding: "I said she could have what I had on me, which was about £40."

When they arrived at his one-bedroom flat, he said he was hit on the back of the head and attacked by Butler with items lying around his home, including an iron.

The attack, which went on for about an hour, caused a series of injuries to his head, shoulders, torso, legs and arms, which included various iron-shaped burn marks and bruising, jurors were told.

Butler disputed the victim's account and claimed she passed out fully clothed in his living room only to wake up in her pants and bra, with Mr Bland also undressed on the sofa.

Butler told jurors that she was "scared" and said: "I was screaming, asking where my clothes are, throwing things at him - the remote control that was on the side."

She told jurors that she picked up an iron and the plug "went flying" and hit the pensioner.

The defendant denied plugging in and pushing a heated iron into Mr Bland's body, or threatening to kill him.

She told jurors that the iron, which appeared to have caused multiple burn marks on his body, "must have fell on him while he was on the floor".

Prosecutor Ian McLoughlin queried whether the iron could possibly have fallen on him "again and again and again".

Butler, of St Aubyns Road, Upper Norwood, south London, denied attempted murder and grievous bodily harm with intent. But during the trial, she entered a guilty plea to grievous bodily harm.

She will be sentenced later.

Reading from Mr Bland's victim impact statement, Mr McLoughlan said the victim was left in "extreme pain and discomfort" and was still unable to use his left hand as a result of the attack.

He had been unable to carry on his work as a porter at a block of flats on the Thames, a job he had loved.

He described himself as a "sociable" person whose activities had been curtailed, making him feel "trapped" in his own home.

He was unable to prepare and enjoy food, struggling to carry out tasks such as chopping onions.

The lawyer told the court that Butler had been diagnosed with an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

Andrew Mooney, mitigating, said all the previous convictions were attributed to getting money for drink or drugs or as a result of drink and drugs.

The mother-of-three left home at 14 and had started taking drugs at 13.

Mr Mooney said she had a history of abusive relationships.

Press Association

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