May 25, 2021 4.13 pm This story is over 14 months old

Lincolnshire businessman jailed for late night break-in attack on elderly couple

He was threatening to kill the victims

A businessman walked through the countryside in the middle of the night before breaking into an isolated farm house and attacking the elderly occupants, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Dinesh Bhatt set off from his home in South Witham in the early hours and walked three miles, crossing the A1 before turning up at the Castle Bytham home of his victims.

Bhatt, described as under pressure as a result of the effect of lockdown on his job, then broke into the property waking the occupants at around 4am.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said the couple, both aged in their 80s, heard several bangs and the man got out of bed and went to investigate.

Bhatt advanced towards the man with his arms raised. The victim confronted Bhatt and tried to force him backwards, only to be punched.

During a struggle which followed, both men ended up on the floor.

“The defendant was hitting the man to the head. The victim describes the defendant trying to gouge his eyes.”

Bhatt bit the man’s arm causing a significant injury which may need plastic surgery. He also threatened his victim saying: “I’ll kill you. My friends will come and kill you”.

The man’s wife went to his assistance but Bhatt kicked out at her.

The couple’s son, who lived nearby, was alerted by a phone call and arrived to assist them, but Bhatt also kicked out at him.

Bhatt was eventually restrained and arrested after police arrived.

Mr Jones said: “In interview the defendant could not explain what he was doing. He said he had gone for a walk. He said he couldn’t recall what happened at specific times.”

The court was told that Bhatt had no previous convictions.

The male victim suffered bruising around both eyes, multiple abrasions to his head, arms, back and both knees.

Mr Jones said the elderly couple have been left traumatised by what happened.

Bhatt, 63, of Hillview Road, South Witham, admitted burglary and two charges of common assault as a result of the incident in the early hours of 20 March this year. He was jailed for 12 months.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, described the incident as bizarre. He told the court: “This is clearly a man who was not acting within himself.

“He is a man in his 60s with no previous involvement in the criminal justice system. He was walking in the middle of the night. He discarded his coat and his phone. He crossed the A1 and found himself looking for water. It was a bizarre turn of events.

“This was the perfect storm with stresses coming from a variety of different directions.”

Mr Watson said Bhatt’s work was affected by the pandemic and isolation. He began to suffer from loss of sleep.

“He is a gentle and conscientious man. He is hard working and goes out of his way to help people. He wants this couple to know how bitterly sorry he is.”

Recorder Stuart Sprawson told him: “This was bizarre behaviour that was completely out of character.

“The imposition of a prison sentence here is unavoidable. I would be failing in my public duty if I didn’t do that.”