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“I thought I was going to die.” Barbara Dransfield describes horrific ordeal as her attackers are jailed
Friday 26th May 2017 @ 14:10 by Tom Greggan

Ashton pensioner Barbara Dransfield has spoke of her horrific ordeal as the two men who subjected her to a brutal assault in her own home have been jailed.

63-year-old Barbara was left in a coma for two weeks after Nathan Lee Clark and Stephen Mortin broke into her home and repeatedly hit her with a baseball bat as Barbara was sat helplessly in her wheelchair in July last year.

24-year-old Nathan Lee Clark.

Today, 24-year-old Clark was sentenced to 19 years in prison and Mortin, 23, from Hyde, was given an 18 year sentence, both for conspiracy to rob and GBH with intent.

The court heard that the pair forced their way inside the woman’s home on Neal Avenue, armed with a knife and a baseball bat and demanded money.

Speaking to Greater Manchester Police, Barbara described what happened. “I heard this crash and then these voices. “It’s the police, stay where you are!” I thought, ‘Why are the police breaking into the back of my house?’

“I struggled to get in my wheelchair because I don’t wear my prosthetic at night. I got into my wheelchair, got out of the bedroom door and that’s when it all started.

“The smaller one was hitting me with a baseball bat. The other one threatened to slash me if I didn’t give them money. That’s all they kept asking for; money. The one with the knife went into the bedroom and as far as I know, he ransacked it. I got hit 8 or 9 times, even my face. The blood was just pouring everywhere. I thought I was going to die.”

Every bone in Barbara’s face was broken with her jaw broken in eight places. She says her face is still numb and it could take 2-5 years before she regains full feeling.

23-year-old Stephen Mortin

She said: “I remember going in the ambulance. I was put in the ambulance once the police arrived and my hubby came home. I don’t remember anything after that until I woke up in intensive care two weeks after it happened.

“Why did they do it when they knew I was disabled? It’s not as if I could fight back. I’m not the same person. I wouldn’t like anyone to go through what I had to go through, nobody at all.”

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Ennis, of GMP’s Tameside Borough, said: “This was a sickening attack on a vulnerable woman that left her with some horrific injuries.

“Not only did Clark and Mortin inflict terrible physical suffering but they also left this woman feeling unsafe in her own home.

“She has displayed immense bravery throughout the trial and also to overcome this cowardly attack.

“I hope that these men being put behind bars where they belong gives her some closure and helps her to move on.”

Barbara thanked Chief Inspector and his team for making sure justice was served.  “I can’t thank Rick and the rest of the team enough,” she said. “They’ve been absolutely brilliant. They’ve got me justice. It’s satisfying to know, 18 years and 19 years is a long time, let’s hope they suffer now.

“All I can go is just try and put it behind me, but how long that’s going to take, I don’t know.”