Alan Barnes Attacker Is Jailed

A man who attacked disabled Gateshead pensioner Alan Barnes has been jailed for four years.

A drug addict from Gateshead has been jailed after his attack on the vulnerable 4ft 6in pensioner caused outrage around the world. 

Richard Gatiss, 25, has been jailed for four years after admitting trying to mug his visually-impaired victim.

Well-wishers raised £330,000 for him within days of the assault outside his Bungalow in Low Fell in January. 

The 25-year-old pushed Mr Barnes over as he put out the bins, breaking his collar bone. Gatiss was desperate for money to buy so-called 

legal highs when he tried to mug him.

He was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court after previously admitting assault with intent to rob.

In a victim statement read in court this afternoon Alan said in the aftermath of the attack he felt he could no longer stay in the community where he had lived all his life.

Jamie Adams, defending, said it was `an awful case' but publicity surrounding it made it difficult to ``keep a proper outlook on what the sentence should be''.

Gatiss was appalled by his behaviour, and his initial denials to police were due to his inability to accept what he had done.

When he finally accepted he was responsible for the mugging, Gatiss was remorseful, as acknowledged by the interviewing officer.

Even on the prison bus to court, Gatiss had been ``the subject of some pretty awful double-standard behaviour'' from other inmates. 

Judge Sloan, sentencing, said Gatiss picked his six-stone victim deliberately. ``The fact that he was disabled and vulnerable would have been obvious to you"

The judge hoped the public support Mr Barnes has received ``has gone a long way to restore his faith in human nature''.