A VIOLENT thug battered an 85-year-old woman after breaking in to her Castlehill home in the early hours of the morning.

Kevin McCallum, 42, left his victim, Barbara Slaven, with three bleeds on her brain following the attack on April 14.

Mrs Slaven’s face was covered in bruises, there was a lump on her forehead, and she had fingermark-type bruises on her forearms.

Her home was ransacked with cupboards emptied and the contents scattered about, and her bed was overturned.

McCallum’s haul was a parasol and a thimble.

At the High Court in Glasgow, McCallum, from Dumbarton, admitted breaking into the pensioner’s home and stealing the items, but he denied assaulting her.

He claimed that Mrs Slaven, a mother-of-four, may have sustained her injuries falling out of bed.

But the jury did not believe him and convicted him of the robbery and of assaulting Mrs Slaven to the danger of her life.

McCallum was released from jail just two months before the brutal attack.

Judge Lady Carmichael told McCallum: “You have been convicted of an appalling attack on a vulnerable elderly lady in her own home.”

After the assault Mrs Slaven, whose face was covered in blood and bruises, asked: “Why would somebody punch me?” and added: “Is it to do with the man in my house.”

Neighbour David Monaghan, 26, who is a sports coach, told the jury he heard Mrs Slaven for shouting at 2am.

He said: “I heard Barbara shouting ‘help’ and then a man shouting. “He was saying ‘Can you hear me.’ He said it again and it started to get louder and more aggressive.”

Mr Monaghan told the court that he could also hear sounds like drawers and cupboards opening and closing.

He called the police and minutes later saw a man leaving Mrs Slaven’s house with a parasol under his arm.

The court heard that McCallum used a brick to smash his way into the house.

Constable Scott Reddiex, who was one of the first police officers on the scene, said: “Mrs Slaven was in her nightie. She seemed quite upset. She was visibly shaking. I got her to sit down on the couch in the living room.

“My colleague stayed with her and I went to check the rest of the house. There were clothes and items strewn around the bedrooms.”

Mrs Slaven’s daughter, Maureen Miller, said that when she saw her mother in the early hours of April 14 she had a lump on her forehead and bruises were beginning to show.

She added: “There were finger or thumb prints on her forearms.”

Prosecutor Jim Keegan QC asked Mrs Miller how her mother was prior to April 14 and she replied: “She had very mild dementia. She was fully capable of living independently.”

Another daughter, 56-year-old civil servant Irene Slaven, said that her mother now requires round-the-clock care and added: “Myself and Maureen take turns to spend nights with her. She just exists.”

Mr Keegan said: “The accused is a career criminal. He has 58 previous convictions for violence, dishonesty, possession of a bladed weapon and housebreaking.”

Lady Carmichael deferred sentence on McCallum until January 23 next year at the High Court in Edinburgh.