Jeffrey Lloyd has been jailed for life today for an attack that effectively ended the life of 73 year old Ruth Yandle.

Lloyd, aged 40, carefully planned to burgle her home in Garnswllt road, Pontarddulais and armed himself with a crowbar, hammer, mask, gloves and duck tape.

When he was disturbed by Ms Yandle he struck her at least four times to the head with the crowbar, delivering one of the blows as she lay helpless on the ground.

Lloyd fled with her handbag, which he threw away in a lane opposite her home and made off with her purse.

Ms Yandle was discovered by her daughter and her eight year old grandson.

Swansea crown court heard she suffered brain injuries she would never recover from and now needed 24 hour care at Neath Port Talbot hospital.

Judge Keith Thomas said Lloyd had a frightening record for violence and at the time of the attack was on early release from a six years sentence.

Lloyd, of St Teilo Street, Pontardulais, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and robbery.

Judge Thomas said he would serve a minimum of nine years in jail before being allowed to apply for parole.

He determined he was a dangerous offender as defined by law and would not be released until experts were satisfied he was no longer a risk.

John Hipkin, prosecuting, said Ms Yandle had been an active, independent, intelligent retired teacher who lived with her daughter and grandchildren.

Lloyd was discovered to have "cased" several properties in the area before targeting her home early on January 9. He had also researched police techniques, CCTV cameras and how to avoid arrest.

Following the attack he got away from the scene but police were able to identify a man riding a bicycle by matching CCTV footage with the evidence of witnesses who had seen someone in the vicinity of the home.

On January 28 officers making house to house enquiries in a bid to find the bicycle called at Lloyd's home. He denied owning a bicycle. While he popped back to his upstairs flat officers found a bicycle matching the one they were looking for.

Officers then found a rucksack containing a mask, lock picking equipment, a hammer and duck tape.

A crowbar found in the same lane as the handbag displayed Ms Yandle's blood, along with Lloyd's DNA.

Mr Hipkin said the injuries to Ms Yandle were life changing--she had been transformed from a woman of independence to one who would require constant care. She could no longer remember the names of her grandchildren.

The court heard that Lloyd had described himself as a survivalist. In 2001 he had hit his then mother in law with a hammer and four years later he attacked a teenage girl in a park with a knife.

In 2015 he had been jailed for six years for possessing a home made gun and ammunition. The gun was capable of firing shotgun cartridges.

Ms Yandle's son, James, read a statement to the court in which he said the attack had effectively ended her life.

Judge Keith Thomas said Lloyd had been on early release from the 2015 sentence when he had attacked Ms Yandle.

"This is as serious a case as it is possible to imagine. You entered her home in a planned robbery and carried out a ferocious attack.

"The injuries inflicted were life changing. This was callous and she will never recover.

"She was a much loved, retired school teacher. A bright, intelligent member of the community, and you have taken away her dignity," he told Lloyd.

At one stage Lloyd had been charged with attempted murder but Mr Hipkin had explained at an earlier hearing that would have been difficult to prove.

Lloyd showed no reaction to the sentence.