Hartlepool drug dealer jailed after being arrested at the scene where elderly disabled man was robbed

A Hartlepool drug dealer who was arrested at the scene of a daylight robbery of a disabled man at a town centre ATM has been jailed for four years and seven months.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 5:07 pm
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Paul Duffy, 38, was in a group of bystanders in York Road who watched a woman associate rob the elderly man who was standing with two walking sticks at the cash dispensing machine as he withdrew £700.

She snatched £170 from the victim’s pockets and handed some to one of the group, Teesside Crown Court was told. She was later jailed for 16 months for the August 23 robbery.

Prosecutor Aisha Wadoodi said that the man told police investigators: “I believe that she had seen me and targeted me because I can’t chase after anyone”.

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He also said ‘It was a Sunday morning and I’m not even allowed to go to get some money in my home town without being robbed’.

Duffy was searched and he had eight wraps of heroin, a knife and £190 in cash , and three days later while he was on bail under investigation he was arrested again in the car park of the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre with 21 wraps of heroin, two mobile phones and £135 in cash.

Officers found another £200 cash in his bedroom.

There were a high volume of drug messages on his phones, and he had 21 previous convictions for 54 offences including knives and possession with intent to supply drugs.

Another of the group Michael Archibald, also 38, said the woman had told them that she was going to rob the disabled man, and she had handed him £30 in cash, which was recorded on CCTV.

Michael Cahill, defending Duffy, said he had been a heroin addict of years and he involved himself in crime to pay for it.

He said that Duffy expected to go to prison and he would involve himself in any prison courses to tackle his addiction.

Martin Scarborough, defending Archibald, said his client had previously been assisted by the Probation Service, which had more effect than prison in reducing his offending.

Archibald, of Sheriff Street, Hartlepool, was given a 12 months community order with 20 days Rehabilitation Activities Requirements and a 12 months drug rehabilitation order after he pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.

Duffy, of Rochester Road, Billingham, was jailed for four years and seven months after he pleaded guilty to possession of heroin with intent to supply, possession of a bladed article and possession of criminal property.

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