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Woman hit with spade in robbery
A MASKED man hit a woman over the head with a spade in a robbery at her home.
Jordan Higham attacked Julia Tilley – who tried to defend herself with a hammer – at her caravan in Chiselhampton.
The 21-year-old, who had stolen Miss Tilley’s car keys a day earlier, was dressed all in black with a white face mask with slits for eye holes, Oxford Crown Court heard.
Higham, who admitted one count of theft and one charge of robbery, was jailed for three years.
He had stolen the woman’s car keys on December 28 and returned the following day to try to steal her Vauxhall Cavalier.
Recorder John Hardy said: “The victim of this matter is a lady, I’m told in middle age, who lives alone in an isolated caravan, and is therefore to be regarded as particularly vulnerable.
“The defendant attended the caravan during the course of the day, ostensibly to attempt to befriend and pacify the victim’s dog with a view to returning later that night and relieving the victim of her car.
“The defendant attended the caravan in disguise, dressed all in black with a white face mask with only slits for his eyes in order for him to see.
“He was carrying a spade. He knocked on the victim’s door and when she answered struck her twice about the head.
“The victim acted with no little courage and sought to defend herself with a hammer.”
The court heard Higham had tried to demand Miss Tilley give him the code for a locked gate which would enable him to drive off with the car. He also smashed windows of the caravan in the attack.
Miss Tilley suffered a large head wound and minor cuts and scrapes to her face and hands.
She was treated overnight at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
Higham, of Park Side, Cuddesdon, made off with a packet of cigarettes and two mobile phones.
He was arrested less than 45 minutes later after using one of the stolen phones to call his girlfriend.
Lucy Tapper, defending, said her client suffered from depression and extreme anxiety.
Dc Victoria Roberts, who investigated the case, said: “This was an understandably traumatic experience for the victim and I am pleased that Higham pleaded guilty and spared her the ordeal of having to relive the experience in court.”