A BLACK Country man who viciously punched his 94-year-old grandmother in the face after an argument has been locked up for 18 months.

The woman was suffering from the onset of dementia and she was left shocked and badly shaken by the attack, said

Blondell Thompson prosecuting at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

She said as a result of the brutal blow struck by Giles Billingham the pensioner sustained a nasty cut on her head and also cut her hand as she fell.

After the attack Billingham then smashed a window in her home before telling investigating police officers it was his grandmother who had attacked him, added Miss Thompson.

She told the court that Billingham - a man of previous good character - had been involved in an

earlier incident when he armed himself with a kitchen knife in a fight with a man.

But it was Billingham who came off second best in the confrontation having been found sitting on the pavement "drifting in and out of consciousness."

Miss Thompson said the fight was over the man's girlfriend - a woman who had been staying at Billingham's home in Ross, Rowley Regis.

He racially abused the man before going into his grandmother's home to get the kitchen knife which he then swung around in a threatening manner.

Blows were exchanged between both men before Billingham was kicked in the head as the other man tried to get the knife.

"It was a heavy kick whatever the motivation and it caused injury that had to be repaired under surgery," Judge Barry Berlin told Billingham.

Billingham, aged 39, admitted possessing the knife, affray, causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage and the judge ruled only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate for the crimes.

Colin McCarraher, defending, said Billingham loved his grandmother and he had looked after her in the past, he added: "He knows what he did is inexcusable and he is full of remorse for what happened. He is still trying to come to terms with what he has done."

He said it was "simply a misunderstanding" and Billingham was horrified at his actions.

Miss Thompson said the grandmother had gone to Billingham's home about some items she felt had gone missing.

He got angry and followed her to her own home nearby where he punched her in the face.

She later told police officers she had been left shaking and in shock adding, "I thought he was going to kill me."