THUGS who attack the elderly leaving them battered, bruised and hospitalised should be handed an automatic mandatory sentence, local politicians have urged.
Mt Lawley MLA Michael Sutherland is among those calling for a statewide introduction to mandatory sentences for “thugs and criminals who prey on the elderly and vulnerable” following a spate of violent incidents against pensioners in the area.
“I have had two recent assaults in my electorate which have made my blood boil,” Mr Sutherland said.
Mr Sutherland said he would now raise the issue with the Police Minister and the Attorney General and decide on action from there as to whether a motion will be tabled in Parliament.
In September, a call was made for mandatory sentencing following the attack on Sidney Brady, an 89 year-old man who was house-sitting his daughter's home in Dianella when several men broke in and bashed him.
However, at the time Premier Colin Barnett said he was disgusted by the assault but said mandatory sentencing laws were not the solution.
“If you were to have mandatory sentencing for assaults on elderly in all cases you would get some perverse results,” he said.
But Mr Sutherland said a clear message must be sent out to thugs who preyed on older people.
In October, Debbie Patten, a wheelchair-bound 51-year-old, who suffers from a brittle bone disorder, was robbed by four men when she stopped to have a pie for lunch in a Yokine park.
Ms Patten said the four men were initially friendly but a simple exchange with one of the group quickly escalated into a terrifying confrontation and robbery at Reader Reserve.
“They grabbed my arm and moved it this way and that way. They grabbed my bag and took my wallet. I just started the (motorised) chair and got out screaming,” she said.
Last week, the Yokine woman was robbed again in her own home. Her house was trashed and about $600 cash stolen.
“I’m terrified in my own home and feel like people are watching me. I was just lucky I didn’t go back inside my house while it was happening,” she said.
Ms Patten said she would like to see harsher penalties for home invasions and attacks on elderly.
Mr Sutherland said enough was enough. Several seniors had contacted him over the matter.