'The time has come for the public to be protected' - that was the message from a judge who has jailed a 46-year-old woman who repeatedly robbed a confused and vulnerable Calderdale pensioner.
Bradford Crown Court heard today (Thursday) how the 73-year-old victim, who was robbed in his own Halifax flat and at Natalie Woods’ home, suffered heart palpitations and black-outs during some of the offences.
Judge Jonathan Rose was told that Woods, who was still on prison licence for trying to smuggle Class A drugs into New Hall Prison during a visit to see her long-term partner, pushed and grabbed the complainant before taking hundreds of pounds from his wallet on five occasions.
Woods pleaded guilty last month to the robbery charges which cover a period between December 2018 and February this year and the court heard that the Class A drug user stole just over £2000 from the pensioner.
Prosecutor Phillip Standfast said the offending came to light after bank staff became concerned when the complainant attended a branch in Halifax and said he was waiting to meet a woman who owed him money.
The man, who was in a very confused state, described being “roughed up” and said the woman had taken “thousands” from him.
During the police investigation the complainant described struggling with Woods over his wallet at her home and also told officers about suffering black-outs.
Mr Standfast said the victim recalled coming round from a black-out and Woods laughing at him.
The court heard that on that occasion Woods took about £300 from his wallet.
Woods, formerly of Highfield Terrace, Rastrick, had previous convictions dating back to 1990 and barrister Taryn Turner said her client had been abusing alcohol and drugs after a very difficult childhood.
“I acknowledge on her behalf that these are serious offences,” she told the judge.
“They are distasteful and she appears to be genuinely remorseful for what she has done.”
But Judge Rose told Woods, who has recently been living at Crown Street, Halifax, said he rejected any notion that she was remorseful and jailed her for six years.
He said they were “fine words” when she was looking at a long prison sentence, but were not borne out when she was released.
“The time has come when the public will be protected,” the judge told Woods.
“The time has come when you will be punished significantly for intruding into the lives of elderly and vulnerable people and taking their hard-earned money.
The judge said no extreme violence was used, but it was unnecessary because Woods was 30 years younger and fitter and stronger than her vulnerable victim.
“He, vulnerable for the reasons we have heard, was in no position to fight back against you whenever you decided to take money from him,” he added.
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