TWO Carlisle crooks have been jailed for the broad daylight street robbery of an elderly heart attack sufferer.
Mark Proudfoot, 33, and 45-year-old Tammy Potts approached William Graham at he sat on the steps of a church off Milbourne Street at around 3-40pm on August 19. It was just weeks before his 70th birthday, Carlisle Crown Court heard today (TUES).
The alcohol-fuelled pair sat next to him, Proudfoot topless and Potts carrying a bottle of booze.
“Mr Proudfoot asked Mr Graham for money, so Mr Graham said he would look in his car as he might be able to give him £3,” said prosecutor Gerard Rogerson.
“Mr Proudfoot said ‘£3’s not enough. We need a tenner’. It was then that Mr Graham brought it to the attention of Mr Proudfoot that he had recently suffered a heart attack. He said ‘you need to leave me alone’.
“Mr Proudfoot asked if Mr Graham had his bank card and said ‘we will drive you to get some money’. Mr Graham said ‘you can’t be doing that’.”
Mr Graham produced his phone after Proudfoot invited him to call police. While Proudfoot had his arm around the pensioner’s chest, Potts made a grab for the phone but was thwarted by panicking Mr Graham’s “tighter grip”.
Proudfoot did snatch the phone, putting it in a bag before the pair walked away. As the victim yelled “I’m being robbed”, the culprits tried to deter passers-by.
Police traced the phone using an app, and rounded up the robbers for a crime which left Mr Graham “terrified and scared”.
Proudfoot, of Bowscale Close, and Potts, of Garden Street, Stanwix, admitted robbery, the heavily-convicted pair describing their crime as “opportunistic”.
Karen Tunnacliffe, for Proudfoot, said: “He wants me to reiterate how sorry he is for his offending and his sorry he is for the victim.”
Judge Julie Clemitson jailed Proudfoot for 40 months and Potts for 32 months.
“He was a man who had recently suffered a heart attack, was of advancing years and he was clearly vulnerable,” she said of Mr Graham.
Detective Constable Lisa Atkinson, North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “We are pleased that both Proudfoot and Potts have been jailed for their role in this street robbery.
“They targeted the victim and demanded money from him. Fortunately the victim was not injured during this incident but the impact of being involved in a robbery may have a lasting effect.
“Their imprisonment means Carlisle is a safer place. I hope today’s sentencing sends out a clear message to anyone who would consider engaging in such activity that Cumbria Police will do all it can to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”