An angry thug who climbed through a window to attack an innocent pensioner with a metal pole after he had an argument with her son has been jailed.

Michael Gallagher struck 70-year-old Christine Bell with a wheel brace after arguing with her son Glyn Bell in the hours before he launched into the attack in September last year.

Described as "agitated" by the victim, the 34-year-old had earlier had an injury on his face after an earlier fracas with Glyn Bell when he attacked her in her flat in Birkdale, Merseyside.

Gallagher, of Albany Road in Southport, was jailed for six years and nine months at Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday (8 March) after admitting aggravated burglary and assault causing actual bodily harm.

The court was told that Gallagher was living with Glyn's uncle in a caravan when he arrived at Christine's home after the earlier scuffle looking for Glyn on 13 September last year.

He was told to leave by the victim but returned with a "fearsome" weapon according to sentencing judge, Recorder Sarah Johnston.

"You climbed in through her bedroom window and hit her to the face and arm with that weapon. At some stage she fell to the floor and you tried to hit her again," she said according to the Liverpool Echo.

"She was screaming for help and mercifully those screams were heard by her neighbour who came to her aid, and you fled."

The court was told that Christine was lucky to escape serious injury but suffered a minor injury to her face.

She later told police that she had tried to "help" the defendant in the past and felt "betrayed and will find it difficult to trust people again."

She said in a victim personal statement, that was read in court, said: "I have suffered nightmares where a male has been standing over me with a metal bar.

"I am suffering flashbacks and heightened anxiety. I jump and panic at every noise I hear. I am still very shaken and washed out and even going to the doctors was an ordeal."

Defending Gallagher Geoff Lowe said his client had suffered with alcoholism and a long-term mental health condition, reported the Liverpool Echo.