A MOLD drug addict has been jailed for six years after a despicable robbery upon a terminally ill woman in her own home.
Steven John Richardson, 33, was told by Judge Niclas Parry that any right thinking member of society would be appalled by what he had done.
Mold Crown Court heard yesterday how the victim was gravely ill with lung and heart problems and was on dialysis three times a week.
Richardson was known to her but had become “a pest” and she felt he and his friends were taking advantage of her. She had sought a restraining order against him.
Prosecutor Emmalyn Downing said Richardson walked into her house at 1.20am one day last October while she slept on the sofa in the front room.
She opened her eyes to see him coming in through the door. She shouted at him to get out and reached for the phone to get help.
But he told her not to use the phone and warned he would hurt her if she did.
He asked to use her car.
Richardson then sat on top of her and said if she phoned anyone he would take her hostage.
After about 10 minutes he got up to go to the toilet and she noticed he had taken her car keys.
While he was upstairs she had the presence of mind to ring her parents and then hang up – knowing they would ring her back.
Richardson was back downstairs when the phone rang and he told her not to answer it. She was able to do so and shouted down the phone Richardson was there.
Her mother later told police how her daughter sounded “terrified”.
It was at that stage Richardson reached for the victim’s handbag, saying she had “done it now.”
She tried to stop him taking it and he pushed her away. She fell to the floor, hurting her knee and striking her head which caused a lump.
Richardson ran out of the door with the handbag containing £150, her building society book, her medication and a prescription, together with her keys.
Miss Downing said the victim had suffered difficulty with her hearing and was found to have a burst ear drum following the robbery.
Judge Niclas Parry told Richardson, of Hawthorn Avenue in Mold, who admitted robbery: “This was truly despicable.
“Any right minded member of society would be appalled at the way you treated a lady you knew was terminally ill. This is violation in the true sense of the word.”
Judge Parry said he had taken advantage of the victim, it was a prolonged incident and he had rejected several civil requests to leave.
“You threatened her with violence and physically prevented her from making a phone call,” he said.
When she tried to salvage her belongings he pushed her to the floor, causing nasty injuries.
The only real mitigation was his guilty plea.
“I believe you now realise the gravity of what you did. But your guilty plea has saved a truly terrified witness from having to re-live the ordeal in court,” the judge said.
In addition to the six year prison sentence, the judge imposed an indefinite restraining order preventing him from approaching her or going within 100 metres of anywhere she may live.
In a victim impact statement the victim said she was terminally ill and the robbery added to her stress.
She felt unsafe in her home and felt “petrified”, waiting to see what was going to happen next.
The victim said she felt somewhat safer when the defendant was in custody, but she was concerned about seeing his associates.
She said Richardson had “no conscience, no guilt and does not care who he upsets”.
Miss Downing said the victim felt like a prisoner in her own home who could no longer trust anyone.
Simon Rogers, defending, said: “Through me he wishes to apologise for his actions.
“This was an extremely mean and unpleasant offence.”
He had never intended she should be hurt.
Richardson, who had previous convictions for 85 offences, was addicted to heroin and crack cocaine but was making progress in custody and attending drug and other courses.