Sadistic thug' gets 14 years for attempted murder of 73-year-old security guard

A 'sadistic' thug who relentlessly bludgeoned a 73-year-old security guard with a shovel after being caught burgling a factory was starting a 14-year jail sentence today.

Joginder Mattu was left in a coma after a horrifying 17-minute long beating from Lee Parsons. 

The courageous victim staggered to his feet on several occasions during the onslaught only to be felled by another flurry of blows from the feet, fists and knees of the 45-year-old thug – and the shovel he wielded without mercy, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

At one point Parsons – who had committed 150 crimes in the past – knelt to say something in the ear of the defenceless pensioner. Mr Hugh O'Brien Quinn, prosecuting, said:

"He was enjoying his power over the man. This was reinforced by the taunting and sheer sadism of the attack.

"A final kick to the ribs came 17 minutes after the first punch. It was sadistic in nature and entirely gratuitous. He could easily have walked away."

The unconscious victim lay undiscovered for five hours at Stoke Forgings in Vine Street, Brierley Hill before finally being discovered by his son, who was anxious because his father had not returned home.

Mr Mattu – who had retired after working for the firm for 36 years, before returning as a security guard – suffered a bleed to the brain, several fractures to the face, head wounds that needed 50 stitches and remained in a coma for a week after the attack on the afternoon of Sunday, March 19th. Mr Mattu said in a statement to police:

"I started to do my hourly patrol and when I was about to walk out of the despatch area I noticed an office door was open. I saw a man standing in the office and said 'What are you doing here? How have you got here?'

"He said he worked there and I told him I knew everybody on the staff and he did not. I said 'Please just leave and don't take anything'.'"

The two men were seen on CCTV outside the dispatch area and appeared to be talking calmly. Parsons was seen to turn away and then suddenly punch Mr Mattu in the face, knocking him to the ground.

The security guard picked up a stick with which to try to defend himself while Parsons went back into the unit and returned clutching a spade which he used to attack the man. Mr Mattu continued:

"He hit me on the head and apart from stumbling around the factory the next thing I remember is waking up in hospital.

"I've always been a proud person and now have to rely on my family. When I look in the mirror or a reflection of my face the scars remind me of the incident. I'm going to retire now so I can enjoy the rest of my life in peace."

Mr Andrew Molloy, defending, said:

"This was the result of a loss of control, a spontaneous attempt to kill. He was deriving no pleasure."

Parsons, of Highgate Road, Holly Hall, Dudley, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and burglary after being caught by Mr Mattu – who was on his round in the dispatch area of the metal factory. He was jailed by Judge James Burbidge QC who told Parsons:

"You returned time and time again when he was in no position to protect himself. You showed him no mercy as he became increasingly incapacitated.

"You bludgeoned him and left him in a pool of blood to die."

The judge ruled Parsons was a dangerous offender and gave him an extended sentence which means he must serve two-thirds of the term before being considered for parole, and be monitored for four extra years on release.

Mr Mattu, who still takes 27 tablets a day, has made a remarkable recovery, the court heard. In a statement a family member said:

"Dad is recovering at home and as a family we would like to draw closure on this incident; we just want to give dad time to recuperate with his family, hopefully make a full recovery and for him to enjoy his retirement."

Detective Constable Paul Widdal, from West Midlands Police, said:

"I am pleased the court has recognised the severity of the assault and handed down a lengthy prison sentence. Parsons is clearly a danger to the public and people are safer with him behind bars.

“I also want to pay my respects to Mr Mattu. He has shown great courage and a fantastic mind-set. In fact, when he came around in hospital the first thing he wanted to know was if anything had been stolen – and when told no replied 'I did my job then!'"

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