Woman pretended to assist disabled man with two walking sticks while emA woman who pretended to assist a disabled man was jailed while secretly emptying his pockets.
After he borrowed money from a cash machine at Yorkshire Bank in Hartlepool, County Durham, Tammy Wilmot attacked the elderly victim.
Teesside Crown Court heard how the 31-year-old approached the man who used two walking sticks and asked him if he needed any assistance.
She then placed her hand in his pocket, stealing some of his cash, reports Teesside Live.
Paul Newcombe, the prosecutor, said: “The prosecution argues this was a mean, targeted crime with as its object a clearly vulnerable man.”
He told the court how the victim had suffered a broken back from an accident at work and had arthritis in his legs , arms, and fingers.
Mr Newcombe said that before the incident on August 23 this year, the man took £70 out of the cash machine and started to walk up the lane.
CCTV, which was played to the court, showed Wilmot standing by the cash machine on York Road with a group of men.
She is seen running behind the victim and approaching him with two sticks as he was walking.
Mr. Newcombe told the court how the man said that she was wondering if he wanted some assistance and if he could handle it.
He said that the victim then felt her reach into his pocket and tried to stop her, but he was worried that his equilibrium would be lost.
“He felt the defendant pushing and pulling at him,” Mr Newcombe said.
The court in Middlesbrough heard how the defendant and the group were confronted by a Good Samaritan, who saw the incident, and requested that they return the money.
Mr Newcombe said: “It was obvious that the party was headed by the defendant.”
“The police got involved and it was found that the defendant was in possession of 70 pounds of currency.”
Wilmot denied the robbery after she was arrested and given an explanation as to why she had £ 70. She declined to view the CCTV footage or answer further questions.
“In Mr. Newcombe’s victim impact statement, read to the court, the man said:” I think she saw me and chose me as an easy target so everyone can see that I can’t chase anyone away.
“On a Sunday morning, it’s totally shameful that I’m not safe to take money out in my hometown.”
Wilmot, of Hartlepool’s York Lane, pleaded guilty to robbery.
The court discovered that Wilmot, who appeared at her sentencing hearing via a video connection to County Durham’s Low Newton jail, has over 100 convictions, most of them for robbery.
“Martin Scarborough, defending, said:” She was with other men, there was obviously some brief debate between them. If she had been on her own, she would have committed this crime-I believe she would have said she would not have done it.
Some of the money has been recovered from her, some of the money has been recovered from those who, it is not fair to say, have put it up, but have supported it. As a consequence of this offence, ideally [the victim] will not be out of pocket.
Mr. Scarborough said Wilmot had a tough childhood and a drug addiction developed.
Wilmot was told by Judge Deborah Sherwin that she has a “very, very long list” of previous convictions, mostly for shoplifting.
She said, “You’ve been dealing with an addiction to heroin for several years that you haven’t been able to get rid of for any significant period of time.”
Wilmot was informed by the judge that it was obvious the victim was insecure.
She said: “I’m pretty sure that your motivation was not to give him support, but in some way to win his trust.”
“Before you escaped with the money, there was some pushing and pulling between you two.”
Wilmot was sentenced to 15 months behind bars by Judge Sherwin.
“Wilmot said after receiving her sentence:” I just want to say sorry to the victim.