A 64-YEAR-OLD who donned a balaclava to launch a late-night attack on another man with an axe handle said he did it protect a disabled woman’s honour.

Peter Barrett of Larkhill Road, Abingdon, hit Paul Akers several times around the face in Hawkins Way, Wootton, near Abingdon, in a 1am attack on February 7, 2010.

Barrett was jailed at Oxford Crown Court on Friday after earlier being convicted by jurors on one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mr Akers told the trial he did not know his attacker, but Barrett, a registered carer, maintained the man had “out-rageously treated” Denise Russell, a disabled friend he cared for.

Judge Patrick Eccles said: “This was premeditated by a man in a balaclava who lay in wait armed with an axe handle. It was a frightening, sustained assault on the man.

“He says he does not know you. Whatever may be the reason in your mind, there is no evidence before me to justify the attack you made on this man.”

Richard Crabtree, defending, said his client had an “ill-begun life” during which he committed a number of offences, but had turned his life around after meeting his wife.

He said: “He is a most unusual man and it’s a most unusual case. For decades he has been a perfectly upstanding, hard-working member of the community.

“This is not a man who has given some small service to the community, it’s a man who’s made it his daily habit for years to care for those who, in today’s society, frankly, need all the help they can get.

“He pleaded not guilty because he was worried about his caring duties. He was foolish and he has made the matters worse.

“It was an act of violence brought about simply out of a sense of rage that someone so vulnerable should have been so outrageously treated.

“He is ashamed, disgusted and embarrassed. Words were insufficient to express how disappointed he was to have resorted to violence.”

Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Eccles said: “It is of course a tragedy to see a 64-year-old man standing in the dock who has put behind him a life of crime and violence and behaved well over many, many years.

“No doubt you do feel shame and remorse for what you have done. You’ve thrown away all the work you have done over these years.”