Junkie jailed for cruel theft of £7,000 from OAP

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A JUNKIE who robbed a disabled pensioner of £7,000 while an accomplice pinned him to the floor of his own home has been caged.

Heroin user Alisha Teal was locked up at Teesside Crown Court for 33 months after admitting the cruel theft from the vulnerable pensioner, who kept his cash hidden underneath a pillow in his bedroom.

The 30-year-old knew the 74-year-old victim, and was aware that he kept thousands of pounds stuffed in moneybags at his home in Hartlepool.

On January 5, and the unknown man turned up at the pensioner’s home at night after plotting to take his savings, the court heard yesterday.

When he opened the door, the elderly man was punched in the face and knocked over, and the man pinned him down with his foot.

Teal rushed past to a bedroom, grabbed the £7,000 and fled, leaving the victim on the floor with a cut nose and bruises, said prosecutor Harry Hadfield.

When she was later arrested at her home, police found £140 on the arm of a sofa and £940 in £20 notes stuffed inside her thermal leggings.

The rest of the cash - almost £6,000 - has never been recovered, but Teal claims it was in her home when she was evicted and must have been stolen.

The court heard that yesterday was her 16th appearance for offences of dishonesty – mostly thefts, but also a robbery and handling stolen goods.

Judge Michael Taylor branded Teal’s record “appalling” and criticised the heroin user for refusing to name her mystery partner in crime or revealing what had happened to the bulk of the cash they stole.

He said: “You knew this vulnerable man had a substantial amount of cash. The two of you forced your way into his property with some man-handling.

“It was an offence committed at night and in the victim’s home.”

He told Teal’s barrister, Paul Abrahams: “She has taken no steps to assist in identifying the other person and the money has not been recovered.”

Mr Abrahams said Teal, of Kerr Grove, Hartlepool, was battling her drug addiction and hopes to return to work as a receptionist when she is freed from her latest jail term.