A man who attacked a woman on Acton Green Common in March has been sentenced to ten and a half years in prison. Dylan Beecroft, 31, must serve at least two-thirds of the term behind bars before being considered for release.
Beecroft attacked Clarissa Brookes, who was a stranger to him, when he flew into a rage because she was taking too long in a public toilet, using a cublcle he liked to use. He hit her repeatedly with a lump of concrete during an attack which lasted seven minutes. Her cries for help attracted passersby who intervened and called the police.
Appearing at the Old Bailey on Friday 10 September, Beecroft was described by doctors as lacking in empathy and “entitled”. He has a history of petty crime, including shoplifting, and was homelss at the time of the attack, sleeping rough in the Acton area. He is one of triplets. One of his siblings is now confined to a mental health institute and the other took his own life.
Image above: Police on Acton Green Common, 9 March; photograph Simon MacMichael
Clarissa Brookes was left covered in blood and thought that she was about to die.
“She certainly believed the attack was going to result in her death”, prosecutor Hanna Llewellyn-Waters told the court.
“The trauma she sustained and the psychological impact will stay with her, and the shadow of this defendant remains with her. That’s something that will never leave her.”
The court heard that Beecroft was seen muttering to himself and smiling after carrying out the attack, and calmly asked the police officer who arrested him: “How long will I get?”
Judge Anne Molyneux said Beecroft had been regularly using one of three toilet cubicles in the park as it was “more spacious and had a mirror”, and became agitated when it was in use.
“You waited but Ms Brookes didn’t leave, and this made you very angry. You didn’t control your anger,” she said.
“Ms Brookes heard you repeatedly banging on the door with the block of asphalt, she told you to wait and when the noise stopped she opened the door to leave.
“You didn’t let her leave, you picked up the block and pushed your way into the cubicle.”
The judge hailed the heroic intervention of members of the public, who interrupted the attack as Ms Brookes “crawled out of the cubicle covered in blood”.
“She suffered considerable pain and injuries to her face”, the judge added. “You have destroyed her confidence and faith in strangers, and she fears being the victim of another random attack in the future.”
An eye witness to the events immediately after the attack, Stephanie, told The Chiswick Calendar:
‘I walked through the park just as a woman rushed to get her some towels to stop the intense bleeding from the restaurant nearby and about 10 men where corralling the aggressor to stop him from running away until the police got there. It was traumatizing but I stayed until the police and ambulance came to feel some sense that the situation was being resolved’.
Beecroft pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm. He must serve an extra four years on licence at the end of his 10-and-a-half year jail term.
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