CHARLES GRAHAM - Empathy for the victim? Criminals feel nothing

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THE photograph of poor, frail Arnold Hilton prostrate, black and blue on his hospital bed after being battered by burglars at his Wigan home was enough to make the most seasoned journalists in our office gasp.

That anyone could do this to anyone, let alone a 89-year-old, simply beggars belief.

But the other day a couple from Worsley Mesnes – Laurynas Dauksas and Aurelisa Galdikaite – were jailed for a total of 20 years for the disgusting attack on Arnold Hilton.

The victim, who had led a perfectly independent existence has now been forced to spend the rest of his days in a care home after losing all his confidence.

This sort of incident really does break my heart, and the scuzzy couple who wrecked Mr Hilton’s life seem to show little remorse.

Even a bit of contrition helps the victims and their families. Pure, cold denial of any wrong-doing only makes the pain worse and detracts from the satisfaction of seeing justice done.

I would imagine that feeling is echoed by the two female victims of painter and decorator David Ode today.

He charmed his way into their trust – in one case a loving one –only to fleece them out of thousands of pounds.

Much of the money, we hear, will be recovered through a Proceeds of Crime hearing and the odious Ode – who has a track record in such deceptions – has been sent to prison for 32 months.

But it was remarked on in court that psychiatric analysis of 60-year-old Ode show “he has no victim empathy”.

To be prepared to carry out such a systematic deception of innocent people who trust you means you must be a cold-hearted piece of work.

Sadly he doesn’t strike me as the type of person who is going to learn his lessons.

I hope the authorities will be keeping a close eye on Ode once he is back in circulation.

As far as our Lithuanian-born pensioner-attackers are concerned, I echo the police chief who investigated the crimes against Mr Hilton in saying that they should be thrown out of Britain as soon as possible.