Men from Motherwell and Bellshill jailed for "planned and chilling" attack on woman in her home

Two men have been jailed for a "planned and chilling attack" on a woman in her home.

Terrified Jennifer Graham barricaded herself into a room as her former partner Christopher Boyle, David Mathewson and another person brandished weapons and forced their way into the property.

Mathewson, 27, a prisoner, was jailed for more than three years at Hamilton Sheriff Court this week. Boyle, 26, of Lamlash Place, Motherwell, was given an 18-month prison sentence. They admitted assaulting Ms Graham at her home in Inglefield Gardens, Hamilton, on January 8, 2020.

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Armed with a knife and a metal pole, the men smashed a glass door to force entry, making threats before robbing Ms Graham of her car and a mobile phone. An allegation that the intruders threatened to throw acid on their victim was deleted from the charge.

Mathewson also admitted driving the stolen vehicle dangerously on various roads in Bellshill while trying to flee from police. He further admitted acting in a threatening or abusive manner at Wishaw General Hospital and spitting at and trying to kick a police officer. Mathewson pleaded guilty to another car theft charge - taking a vehicle from McTaggart Crescent, Motherwell, in May 2019.

Defence agent Diarmid Bruce said Mathewson, who is from Bellshill, had been "devastated" by the death of his mother. He added: "His grandfather also passed away. Of course, this can't explain his appalling behaviour towards this woman.”

Mark Lutton, defending Boyle, acknowledged the attack on his former partner was a "very serious" matter. Last year Boyle was given a community payback order for threatening a Newarthill shopkeeper with a stick during a failed robbery attempt.

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Sheriff Linda Nicolson said: "This was a planned and chilling attack on a woman who barricaded herself in a room when you went armed to her home."

The sheriff said Mathewson has a significant record for crimes of violence and housebreaking. He was jailed for 170 weeks and banned from driving for five years.

Sheriff Nicolson rejected a plea to give Boyle another community order. She said: "This was not an impulsive act. I see no alternative to custody."