Drunk thug battered elderly mum and aunt for alcohol money

Brian Sawers appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.
Brian Sawers appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

A drunken thug carried out vicious separate attacks on his elderly aunt and mother because they would not give him more money for alcohol.

Brian Sawers smothered his 79-year-old aunt with a cushion and battered his 81-year-old mum, leaving her with two black eyes and a dislodged tooth.

Sawer (40) of Peebles Street, Kirkcaldy, carried out the violent assaults in Crossgates, where he was living with his aunt, and his mum’s home in Hill of Beath.

He appeared in the dock at Dunfermline Sheriff Court and admitted two charges.

On January 6, at Springhill Brae, Crossgates, he assaulted Joanne Crawford, then aged 79, by demanding money from her, pushing her on the body and holding a pillow over her face thereby restricting her breathing to her injury.

On August 14, at Woodend Place, Hill of Beath, he assaulted his mother Isa Sawers, then aged 81, demanded money from her, forcibly seized and squeezed her face, repeatedly punched her on the head and body, stamped on her feet, shouted and screamed at her, threatened her with violence, pushed her on the body causing her to fall to the ground and thereafter punched her on the body all to her injury.

The first attack took place on Mrs Crawford, who is his aunt and brought him up as a mother from a very young age, said depute fiscal Sarah Lumsden.

She had been at home watching TV on a Saturday night at 7.30pm when a “heavily intoxicated” Sawers appeared in the house.

He went to his bedroom but then came back into living room shortly afterwards.

“He demanded that she gave him money. He pushed her on the chest and she pushed him back. He then grabbed a cushion from the sofa where she was sitting,” said the depute.

“He placed the cushion over her face, effectively smothering her. She began to struggle and started to feel light-headed.”

The woman began to lash out with her arms and legs then removed a shoe and hit Sawers with it to defend herself.

“She was able to escape and was extremely frightened,” added the depute. The victim fled from her home dressed in her pyjamas and went to her daughter’s house.

When detained for this offence Sawers gave a ‘no comment’ interview to police.

The second incident occurred when his mother was at home watching TV between 6 and 7pm and a drunk Sawers turned up demanding money for more alcohol.

The depute said Mrs Sawers did not keep money in her house in an effort to deter these visits from her son.

“He sat down next to her and then grabbed either side of her face and squeezed her cheeks together with such force that it caused a tooth to dislodge in her upper jaw.

“She was then punched to the head about six or seven times. She shouted for him to stop.

“He then told her he wanted his tea and stamped on her foot. She pleaded with him to stop.”

He then hit her again causing her to fall on the kitchen floor and began repeatedly punching her before leaving the house.

A neighbour heard screaming from the house and then saw Sawers “staggering past carrying a tin of beer”.

The victim sustained several large areas of bruising including two black eyes and a dislodged tooth.

Sawers again gave a ‘no comment’ interview to police when detained.

Sheriff Charles MacNair called for reports and bail was continued until sentencing on December 11.