A thug told a judge it was ‘totally out of my character hitting old ladies’.

Mark Baxter, 39, punched the woman, 70s, in the face as she stood outside the Lloyds Bank in Crowell Road, Cowley, on July 27 last year.

He pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court last month to causing actual bodily harm.

READ MORE: Happy Friday Kitchen on Cowley Road in Oxford to close

The Oxford man was due to be sentenced at the crown court on Tuesday.

But when he appeared in the dock of courtroom one, he had no lawyer to represent him.

Baxter told Judge Michael Gledhill QC he had not realised that there was no duty solicitor to represent him, as there would be at the magistrates’ court.

The judge said to the defendant: “It is a very serious matter, isn’t it?”

He replied: “At the time I was under a lot of stress. It was totally out of my character, really, hitting old ladies.”

The court heard Baxter had paranoid schizophrenia and had spent time in hospital receiving treatment. He was currently subject to a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement for what the defendant described as a ‘bit of trouble [with a] stolen bike’.

Judge Gledhill directed that Baxter, of Abingdon Road, Oxford, was introduced to a lawyer from an Oxford solicitors’ firm. He adjourned sentencing until June 21.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward