A DRUNKEN man who burst into his elderly neighbour’s house, threatening him with a knife, “got what he deserved” when the pensioner, a former boxer, left him bruised and bleeding.
Yesterday, Gregory McCalium, 23, was jailed for four-and-a half years for aggravated burglary.
McCalium had partied all night before forcing his way into 72-year-old neighbour Frank Corti’s home in Queens Close, Botley, Oxford, in August last year, brandishing a knife, Oxford Crown Court was told.
He lunged at Mr Corti’s stomach, but missed.
Mr Corti — an ex-boxer who served with the Royal Engineers in North Africa from 1956-58 — was at home with his wife Margaret at the time of the incident.
He dodged the knife and punched the intruder twice in the face, leaving him with a black eye and swollen lip.
He then restrained McCalium until police arrived.
Last night, Mr Corti said: “We are very pleased (with the sentence) because our life was severely disrupted by the incident and we are pleased he won’t be troubling us for a few years.
“I had to restrain him before he could go and get the knife.
“I was scared when he first threw the knife, but most people would have acted in the same way.
“If you can’t defend what’s yours, where are we at?”
During sentencing at Oxford Crown Court, Brian Payne, prosecuting, said: “There was a struggle and it was clear Mr McCalium was intoxicated because his reactions were slow.
“It seems Mr McCalium ended up with far more serious injuries.”
The break-in was the culmination of a dispute between the neighbours, Mr Payne added.
The court heard cocktail barman McCalium was drunk after partying all night and forced his way into his neighbour’s house at 8am on August 19.
Police had turned up earlier in the morning after complaints of noise and McCalium was seen brandishing a wooden sword.
McCalium denied aggravated burglary and told a trial in March that he could not remember the incident.
John Simmons, defending, said: “Whatever happened that night was a coming together of a situation that had been brewing for some time and in the run-up neither of them covered themselves in glory.
“It was like a pressure cooker that finally blew.”
Mr Corti received only minor injuries, Mr Simmons told the court.
He added: “Photographs of the defendant showed what looked like a car accident and photos of the scene looked more like a murder scene.”
Recorder Angela Morris said because of McCalium’s age and lack of serious previous convictions she would pass the shortest sentence available.
She said: “Luckily, Mr Conti was an able-bodied 72-year-old who was able to defend himself. The jury might well have concluded you got what you deserved when you entered that property and took a swipe at him with that weapon.
“The elderly and vulnerable people are entitled to demand the protection of courts from people like you who decide to take matters into your own hands and enter a property with a weapon.”
McCalium, who has been in custody since the attack, will serve half the sentence before he is eligible for release on licence.