A man has been found guilty of attacking a pensioner following a dispute over a fence and ivy bush.

Brian Saunders, 52, left Wendy Douglas with a fractured eye socket, broken collar bone and broken ribs during an incident at a property on Ascot Road, in Kingston Park, on June 12, 2021.

Saunders, of Melness Road, Hazlerigg, Newcastle, pleaded not guilty to counts of causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and one of theft. A jury has now found Saunders guilty of GBH. The theft charge related to an accusation that he stole her mobile phone during the attack. The jury found him not guilty of theft.

He will be sentenced on January 23 and has been warned he faces an inevitable prison sentence.

Over the course of the trial, jurors heard Wendy lived next door to the defendant's parents and there had been a dispute over a fence and an ivy bush. The court heard on June 12, 2021 events came to a head at around noon when Wendy started trimming a bush she claims was in her garden.

She told the court her neighbour came out and began shouting at her before going back to his property, he then returned and demanded the cuttings from the plant.

Wendy, who was 68 at the time of the incident, told the court Saunders later arrived at his parents' house and approached her while she was sitting on her sun lounger. The court was told there was an exchange of words about putting up a new fence before Saunders spotted a mobile phone in the victim's hand.

The court heard he then came into her garden, allegedly snatched the phone and then attacked her. Jurors heard Saunders put his knee across her right shoulder and pinned her down before putting his hands around her throat and shaking her.

The court heard Saunders denied the allegations and that Wendy suffered the injuries after she tripped over a dog trying to get up from a sun lounger before falling into a plant pot and suffering what appeared to be a fit. During evidence, Saunders told jurors he'd tried to help the pensioner back up and she was screeching "absolute histrionics" to get the attention of people.

The jury heard from pathologist Dr Peter Cooper who told the court the victim suffered two types of bleeding to the eye, one on the surface of the eye and the other deep in the chamber of the eye. He said they were injuries he'd normally associate with a punch rather than a fall.

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