A PENSIONER has been left bloodied and bruised after after two men wearing motorbike helmets battered him with a hammer during a violent burglary.

The 79-year-old victim was also kicked and punched after he fell to the ground when the men forced their way into his home late at night.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Mark Lloyd was rugby-tackled by a police officer who responded to a 999 call after the burglars were heard smashing their way into the pensioner's Middlesbrough home.

The Northern Echo: Mark LloydMark Lloyd

Lloyd's accomplice managed to escape and the defendant refused to give police his name for 'fear of repercussion'.

Jolyon Perks, prosecuting, said the victim suffered two bleeds to the brain as a result of the hammer blows as well as suffering two broken ribs when he was beaten while on the ground.

Mr Perks said during the brutal attack one of the men shouted 'you foreign b******, you shouldn't be in this country'.

The court heard how the victim believed he had been deliberately targeted after being followed home from the shop on January 27 this year.

He added: "His next memory was waking up in hospital crying because he didn't know where he was."

Mr Perks said the victim had been found in the doorway of his home covered in blood.

In a victim impact statement, the pensioner said he was a well respected member of the community but was now to scared to live in the home he had lived in since 1963.

Stephen Constantine, in mitigation, said the offending was out of character and his client had struggled to come to terms with the devastating loss of his partner.

He said the defendant's children were now living with their grandparents which was why he was too scared to name his accomplice.

Lloyd, 39, of Broadwell Road, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, assault causing actual bodily harm and possession of a knife.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced Lloyd to eight years and one months in custody.

"You threatened and intimidated him to get in, once you got in a vicious and sustained assault began. It seems likely that the other person was the lead member in this violence but you share his responsibility and you can't wash your hands of it by saying the worst of it was done by someone else," he said.

"He was attacked and beaten with a a hammer, when he was driven to the ground he was kicked and punched."