Thug, 40, broke innocent businesswoman's jaw, nose and ribs

Thug, 40, broke innocent businesswoman's jaw, nose and ribs

January 12, 2021

Thug, 40, broke innocent businesswoman’s jaw, nose and ribs because the 65-year-old had recommended a handyman to him who bungled the job

  • Michael McAteer barged into Margaret Smith’s office and repeatedly kicked her
  • The attack came after a tradesman Mrs Smith recommended failed to finish a job
  • The 65-year-old said she has decided to sell her business following the assault
  • McAteer was jailed for four years for unlawful wounding and criminal damage

A violent thug broke an innocent businesswoman’s jaw, nose and ribs after she recommended a handyman to him was unable to finish a job.

Michael McAteer, 40, stormed into Margaret Smith’s office Compstall Garden Centre, Stockport, in 2019, and started to repeatedly punch and kick her.

The 65-year-old was left in hospital for five days after McAteer’s brutal attack, which left her traumatised and moved her to sell the business she has run for 12 years.

While in police custody, McAteer dismissed his victim as ‘some little old bag,’ suggesting she ‘deserved’ the beating, before adding ‘I hope somebody has a heart attack’.

He was jailed at Minshull Street Crown Court for for years after admitting to unlawful wounding and criminal damage of Mrs Smith’s laptop.

Margaret Smith suffered a fractured jaw, as well as a broken nose and two broken ribs after a violent thug launched a brutal attack on her while she sat in her office at Compstall Garden Centre, Stockport, in 2019

It emerged McAteer, who had been a regular customer at the garden centre, blamed Mrs Smith for introducing him to a handyman who failed to complete renovation work at his home in Marple, near Stockport, due to personal problems. 

In early 2018 police were called to the garden centre after McAteer turned up and started berating Mrs Smith over her referral. It is thought no action was taken but at 3.30pm on December 16 2019, McAteer returned and set about the victim as she was sat behind the counter working on her lap top. 

In a statement to police, Mrs Smith said: ‘It always used to feel like a safe place but now I do not feel safe. I used to go for walks around the park at the end of the day but I have not been into the park since this happened.

‘I see people walking into the park and I’m thinking, “Who’s that? Who’s he? What does he want?” I never used to think like that because it used to feel like a safe environment – but now you just don’t know what people want.’   

Michael McAteer, 40, launched the attack after blaming Mrs Smith for recommending a tradesman to him who was unable to complete work on his home in Marple, Stockport

While in custody, McAteer said his victim, who has owned Compstall Garden Centre for 12 years, ‘deserved’ the beating, adding: ‘I hope somebody has a heart attack’

McAteer was detained at home five hours after the attack in December 2019.

When told he was being held on suspicion of assault he said: ‘Of assault to who? What about the people who’ve ripped us off. What about people who done us crime, you d*******? They deserved all they get.’

Later at the police station in a rambling tirade, McAteer went on: ‘They deserve all they get. 

‘I work all my life then oh someone just gonna take money off you? They’re dumb. Backward. Deserve all they get.

‘Some little, old bag gettin’ her f****** head stoved in. I hope somebody has a heart attack – silly cow.’

In her statement to police Mrs Smith revealed she had cut the opening hours and hired extra staff to carry out tasks at her garden centre, as she no longer feels safe.

She added: ‘You see things like this on the TV but you don`t really expect it to ever happened to you or anybody you know. 

‘I think that Mike is a horrible piece of work and I will never open my door again at home without checking who is there first and I now look at the garden centre as quite a vulnerable place to be. 

Mrs Smith has revealed she intends to sell her garden centre, as ‘it is all just too much for me,’ following the brutal attack in December 2019

Sentencing McAteer to four years in prison, Judge Mark Savill told him he had ‘ruined’ the businesswoman’s life 

‘When I did first go back I made sure that there was someone else there all the time and sales have been down 50% overall since it happened. I still don’t like it there on my own.

‘I keep the doors locked all the time except to serve customers and now keep the back gate locked if I am outside so that everyone has to come in the front. Even though Mike was placed in custody, I now have a fear or apprehension of another attack.  

‘I will hate it when I have to sell. I am really going to miss it a lot and there are going to be people upset but it is all now just too much for me. I just can’t do it anymore.’ 

Sentencing Judge Mark Savill told him: ‘Mrs Smith is someone who has worked hard and has achieved much and she did nothing at all to deserve the absolutely disgraceful attack you perpetrated upon her. You’ve ruined her life.’

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