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Home   Dartford   News   Article

First pictures of elderly Hextable couple Jean and John McDougall subjected to brutal attack at home by teenager Aaron Davis

29 May 2014
by Thom Morris

Jean McDougall, 89, was smashed in the face by 18-year-old Aaron Davis at her Hextable home having just finished breakfast.

Her 84-year-old husband John was also hit on the head by the intruder with his wife's walking stick.

Jean and John McDougall at home in Hextable

Jean and John McDougall at home in Hextable

The picture of Mrs McDougall's injuries shocked the community and this week her family released the first photo of the couple together in hospital after their ordeal.

Last week, Davis, of College Road, Hextable, had his sentence cut because of his age. He was due to be jailed for seven years before being released on parole, but will now only have to serve just over five years.

Grandmother-of-one Mrs McDougall said: "I'm a bit upset. I don't think he should have had it reduced.

"We thought the sentence was quite fair, considering what he's done. It's dreadful really. He's been very vicious."

Mrs McDougall - who has daughters Gillian, Pat and Heather - was left with a broken nose and eye socket, a fracture to the base of her spine and other injuries after being repeatedly kicked. She was beaten so hard her false teeth came out and her glasses were broken.

Holding hands, couple Jean and John McDougall in hospital after being attacked

Holding hands, couple Jean and John McDougall in hospital after being attacked

She explained how events unfolded on October 15 last year.

"It was 8.20am and I answered the door to a young man who asked me the time," she said.

"I remember he had a bag over the shoulder. I told him the time and away he went and said thank you.

"I didn't think anything of it. I went back in but I hadn't locked the door, it was just on the catch.

"I went back to my husband and told him what had happened and he thought it was suspicious but I didn't take much notice of it.

"I finished my breakfast and went to the loo and then I saw this holdall in the middle of the hall. I thought 'what a cheek'.

"I put it outside the front door and then locked the door this time and thought to myself, when I see him I'll give him a good telling off. What I didn't know though was that he was already in the house."

Teenage thug Aaron Davis has had his sentence cut

Teenage thug Aaron Davis has had his sentence cut

At this point, Mrs McDougall admits she does not remember a great deal of what happened.

"I can only really surmise what happened from then on," she said.

"I must have gone into the bedroom and he either smashed the door in my face or hit me.

"We thought the sentence was quite fair, considering what he's done. It's dreadful really. He's been very vicious..." - victim Jean McDougall

"When I came to, my next door neighbour had a towel under my head and I was bleeding profusely. I was saying 'this can't be happening to me'.

"He attacked my husband with my walking stick. Clobbered him right around the head.

"My next door neighbour could hear someone was shouting 'where's the money, where's the money' and came round to look through the window to ask if John was alright.

"This figure then ran out of the French windows. I can't tell you how grateful I am for my neighbours Eilish and Colin Dedman.

"They called the police but, really, all of them, all of my neighbours have just been marvellous.

"My husband is still getting terrible headaches. He has vascular dementia which means that his brain is collapsing and this attack didn't help things - his head is really aching."

Jean McDougall suffered black eyes and multiple injuries after a savage beating by teenager Aron Davis

Jean McDougall suffered black eyes and multiple injuries after a savage beating by teenager Aron Davis

Davis later admitted three charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, two charges of robbery, burglary of a shed and another burglary at a football pavilion in Hextable Park. 

He was given an extended sentence of 15 years and six months, consisting of a custodial term of 10-and-a-half years and a licence period of five years, at Maidstone Crown Court.
 
Under extended sentences, prisoners have to serve two-thirds of any custodial term before becoming eligible for parole, as opposed to half under determinate sentences.
 
However, Davis was back in the dock in front of Judge David Griffith-Jones QC - who said he had "reflected" on the sentence and concluded he had not given "sufficient weight" to Davis's age at the time.
 
Police in Panters, Hextable, after a raid by Aaron Davis

Police in Panters, Hextable, after a raid by Aaron Davis

Judge Griffith-Jones said he still considered Davis to pose a significant risk to the public.
 
But he added: "Given your relatively young age there is reason to believe that as you continue to mature, your risk factors should be capable of being addressed by appropriate interventions while you serve your sentence.
 
"Therefore, having faced approximately seven years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole, Davis will now serve five years and three months."

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