Suspended sentence for man who attacked war hero

Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales

A jilted husband has been given a suspended jail sentence over a revenge attack on a defenceless double amputee war hero he caught in bed with his wife.

Florist Harry Pattison snapped when he found Afghanistan veteran Tom Lawlor with wife Gemma only five weeks after they split up.

He punched Tom in the head as he lay on the marital bed after sneaking into the former marital home by the back door, a court heard.

Mr Lawlor had both his legs blown off by a Taliban bomb while on foot patrol in Basharan, Helmand Province, when he was 19.

The former infantry private, now 24, met Gemma Pattison the same evening as the attack took place.

The 26-year-old waitress was on a boozy night out with pals and invited the ex-squaddie back to her place.

They both headed up to her loft attic room, leaving his prosthetic limbs downstairs, Scarborough magistrates heard.

Prosecutor Kathryn Reeve said Pattison, 28,had also been out drinking with friends when he called his estranged wife asking to see their dog.

The back door had been left unlocked and about 4.30am Pattison let himself in.

Miss Reeve continued: “She came across the defendant at the bottom of the stairs.

“He was very upset she has got another male at the address only a few weeks after splitting up after a long-term relationship.”

Pattison found Mr Lawlor in bed and started punching him, as the ex-soldier yelled he had left his legs down stairs.

“He has prosthetics having lost both his legs while serving as a soldier in Afghanistan,” Miss Reeve added.

Pattison smashed the mirror in the bedroom. The disturbance continued in the downstairs where Pattison smashed up a fish tank, flooding the living room.

Pattison, who lives in Nelson Street, admitted two offences of assault by beating and one of criminal damage last December.

Presiding Magistrates Carl Harwood said: “These offences are so serious that custody is the only suitable option.

“This was a serious incident of domestic violence. Mr Lawlor was clearly unable to defend himself.

“The incident occurred when you entered the victim’s home address uninvited in the early hours of the morning.”

Pattison was given a three month jail sentence suspended for a year, a three month curfew, 24-month restraining order and a £1,156 legal bill.

This included £85 court costs, £80 surcharge, £691 compensation to the landlord for the criminal damage, £100 compensation to Gemma Pattison and £200 to Mr Lawlor.

Nick Tubbs, defending, said Mrs Pattison, who became sole tenant of the house after the split, was now moving out.

He told the Bench: “Part of the problem with this case was although he had moved out of the marital home he has moved to the family home only a few yards down the street.

“He has enormous regret at what’s happened. He has learned a very valuable lesson and is unlikely to be before you again.”

Mr Lawlor was a private in the Second Battalion Yorkshire Regiment The Green Howards when he was injured in September 2009.