Published: 16:12, 22 May 2019
| Updated: 19:28, 22 May 2019
A tough old soldier, aged 89, was punched unconscious by a total stranger in the street.
But when police asked how the nasty attack would change his life, pensioner Bob Paterson retorted: “I don’t feel scared by this. I was in the Army. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
His attacker, amphetamine-fuelled Lewis Bullen, went on to attack a couple in their 60s and a female security officer.
He later revealed he had gone on a drink and drugs binge, after receiving back payments from the DWP.
Prosecutor Ian Foinette told Maidstone Crown Court that when the 31-year-old was asked why he had carried out the attacks, said: “I was just angry!”
His barrister Lucy Luttman said: “These were unprovoked attacks on random people. He has a long entrenched addiction to amphetamine. There is no excuse for his behaviour.”
Bullen, who lived on the streets, admitted four assaults on Tuesday, March 5, in Commercial Road, Strood, and the High Street and has now been jailed for 16 months.
Mr Foinette said the first attack happened shortly after 11.30am as Peter and Rosemary Hawkins were walking along the road.
He said: “Mr Hawkins suddenly felt a blow to the right side of his face and described it like he had been hit by a brick wall”.
The prosecutor added that he then saw Bullen walking away before turning and running towards the couple, punching and kicking them both.
Mr Hawkins pushed his attacker away and then struck him on the mouth as the sneering Bullen responded with: “Is that the best you’ve got?”
The drug addict then went up to Mr Paterson and punched him to the ground, knocking him unconscious.
Mr Foinette said: “Mr Paterson has no recollection of the incident and was treated by a number of passers-by who stopped and helped.”
Mr Foinette added that Mr Hawkins continued his chase and saw Bullen enter a Wilko store where he was confronted by security guards.
“Mr Hawkins suddenly felt a blow to the right side of his face and described it like he had been hit by a brick wall..” - prosecutor Ian Foinette
Bullen lashed out at security worker Christine Denness who was helped by a PCSO.
“At one point Bullen adopted a kick-boxing style attack, hitting Ms Denness on the thigh leaving her shocked”, Mr Foinette added.
Mr Paterson suffered a swelling to his face and a black eye and traumatic amnesia following the incident.
Ms Luttman told the court that Bullen had drunk alcohol and taken amphetamines before “suffering an episode resulting in this irrational behaviour”.
She said that morning he had received payments from the DWP and, after giving half to his mother, blew the rest on drink and drugs.
Judge David Griffith-Jones jailed him for three assaults by beating and one of causing actual bodily harm.
He told him: “You should be thoroughly ashamed of your behaviour and in particular assaulting an 89-year-old man who just happened to be in your way.”
More by this authorPaul Hooper