Thug fails to get jail term cut

Lee Tobin
Lee Tobin
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A THUG who attacked a “trusting and naive” man in his own home has failed to have his sentence cut.

Lee Tobin, 34, and Donna Louise Ramsey, 37, were locked up for robbing the man of his piggy bank after Ramsey tricked her way into his home.

Ramsey, of Ivy Grove, Hartlepool, was jailed for eight years at Teesside Crown Court in November last year after she admitted robbing Robert Stevens, 50, a “vulnerable” adult with learning difficulties.

Tobin, of Arnold Grove, Hartlepool, was jailed for nine years after also admitting robbery.

Ramsey tricked her way into Mr Stevens’ home in June last year, London’s Appeal Court heard, after pretending she knew him.

Once inside she tried to pluck his wallet from his trousers, said Mr Justice Maddison, calling for Tobin’s help when a struggle broke out.

Tobin ran into Mr Stevens’ flat, unleashing a violent assault in which Mr Stevens was punched and placed in a headlock, the judge added.

While Mr Stevens struggled with Tobin, Ramsey snatched his wallet and smashed his piggy bank, walking off with the cash inside.

The duo ran from Mr Stevens’ flat after Tobin warned that he would “finish him off” if he complained to the police.

“Mr Stevens ran after them and snatched his keys back,” said Mr Justice Maddison.

He added: “He then ran back inside and locked himself in the flat.”

Despite his problems, Mr Stevens had coped well on his own before the robbery, but the court heard he was left “terrified” by his ordeal, feeling “scared and vulnerable, and worried about living on his own”.

Ramsey and Tobin had robbed Mr Stevens to find cash for drink and drugs, the court heard.

Mr Justice Maddison, sitting with Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Lindblom, said the pair were guilty of robbing a vulnerable victim, although he accepted that Mr Stevens was not “targeted” because of this.

Dismissing Tobin’s sentence challenge, the judge said he played the leading role in a “protracted, violent robbery on a man who was vulnerable and in his own home”.

“Nine years cannot be described as manifestly excessive,” he ruled.

But, the judge went on to cut Ramsey’s sentence from eight to six years in light of her guilty plea and compelling “personal mitigation”.

Ramsey will serve no more than half her new sentence before qualifying for automatic release.