May 21 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, January 12, 2013
A woman who tricked her way into the home of an 85-year-old Norfolk pensioner, who is registered blind, and stole more than £130 has left her victim feeling “frightened and worried”, a court heard.
"This was a despicable robbery on a vulnerable woman who was left extremely distressed and shaken by the incident. "
Samantha Payne, 31, knocked on the victim’s door at her flat in Great Yarmouth claiming she needed bandages as her boyfriend had been stabbed.
When the victim went to call the police there was a scuffle and Norwich Crown Court heard that the pensioner and Payne fell to the floor.
Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said it was accepted that Payne had not deliberately attacked the pensioner but in the fall, the frail pensioner suffered cracked ribs and scratches to her face.
Payne then went into the pensioner’s bedroom and made off with her purse and cash totalling £130.
Mr Ivory said police were called and the pensioner was taken to hospital to be treated and was in considerable pain for a time afterwards because of the cracked ribs.
In an impact statement the victim said the burglary had left her feeling a “frightened, worried woman”.
He said the victim used to be happy in her home but said: “I am now frightened to open my own front door.”
He added that she feels her home is not her home anymore and no longer likes to go into her bedroom as she says she can still smell Payne’s presence there.
Payne of Southtown Road, Great Yarmouth admitted the burglary on November 5 of last year, and also admitted two thefts and another burglary and asked for 11 other offences to be taken into consideration.
Jailing her for two years and nine months, Judge Patrick Moloney accepted that Payne’s drug addiction laid behind her offending but said that was no excuse for her targeting an elderly blind woman, saying: “You targeted a vulnerable elderly person for money.”
He accepted that she had pushed the pensioner by accident but said it was a horrible offence which the court could not ignore.
Jonathan Goodman, for Payne, said she had a long-standing drug addiction but since on remand was now drug free.
He said: “She did not subject this victim to deliberate violence. This was an accident. She is thoroughly ashamed of herself.”
DC Kevin Maskell, Great Yarmouth CID, welcomed the sentence after the case was concluded, saying: “This was a despicable robbery on a vulnerable woman who was left extremely distressed and shaken by the incident.
“It would be a shocking experience for anyone but the level of violence used, in this case on an elderly woman, to obtain money was completely unacceptable.
“I am pleased that the victim was not forced to relive the ordeal through the courts as Payne pleaded guilty early.”