A COUPLE who posed as “Good Samaritans” before robbing a foreign national of cash and possessions – including his passport – have been jailed.
Carlisle Crown Court heard how Swedish chef Peter Gustaffson was initially offered a lift back to his Greystoke workplace by Ian William Main, 30, and Toni Claire Woods, 37 after meeting them by chance in a Penrith fast food restaurant on June 17, 2017.
But as the pair’s vehicle was driven in the opposite direction and dangerously, Mr Gustaffson asked to be dropped off. But in a town car park, as Main announced “get ready”, Woods dragged Mr Gustaffson from the rear of the vehicle, slapping and hitting him before trying to grab a bag which contained around £700, clothing and his passport. Thirty-year-old Main then joined in the robbery, during which the victim was hit about his body as the bag was taken and later discarded.
The crooks were caught after Mr Gustaffson – left alone and injured – bravely managed to take a photo of the car’s numberplate as it was driven off.
Mum-of-one Woods, of Elmfield Road, Hebburn, South Tyneside, later admitted robbery. Main, of Durham Court, also Hebburn, was convicted of his role in the terrifying crime after a trial. He also admitted a reckless arson offence having set fire to his South Shields home while “deeply unwell” on April 28 this year.
Main and Woods were sentenced at the crown court today (THURS). They received jail terms of seven years and three years, respectively, Judge Peter Davies calling the robbery “targeted” and “nasty”.
In a victim personal statement, Mr Gustaffson had said of the impact on him: “It was a catastrophic situation which I had to go through – homelessness, no identity and Sweden very far away.” Indeed the crime affected him so much, he said, that “I gave up and moved back”.
DC Sarah Edgar, from the North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “We are pleased that both Main and Woods will be spending time behind bars for their actions,
“They put the victim through a terrifying ordeal in order to steal from him. He was subjected to not only the reckless driving, which thankfully did not lead to other road users being hurt, but also being assaulted by both in a car park.
“I would like to thank the victim for his bravery and hope that this sentencing provides some form of closure.”