Alcoholic robber in appeal

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AN ALCOHOLIC from Sheffield jailed over the violent robbery of a man who paid her for sexual services has had her sentence cut on appeal.

Katie Jayne Larkin, aged 24, of Morgan Road, Shirecliffe, was jailed for four years at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting the robbery in May last year.

But Appeal Court judges have now said it is wrong her sentence was so close to that of her accomplice, mallet-wielding Darren Donohoe, who got five years for the same robbery.

Lord Justice Jackson, Mr Justice Wyn Williams and Judge Brian Barker cut her prison term to three-and-a-half years.

Judge Barker told the court Larkin, who had been convicted of more than 30 previous offences, was a troubled drinker who often attended a Sheffield drop-in centre for people with addictions.

While there, she befriended the centre’s boss, Stuart Dodson, and agreed on numerous occasions to provide sexual services in return for cash.

But on one occasion, last February, she betrayed Mr Dodson’s trust by joining addict Donohoe in robbing him at her home.

During the violent incident, Donohoe swung a mallet at Mr Dodson, who was eventually forced to hand over his wallet. He suffered bruising to his face, abdomen and leg, and a superficial head injury.

After her arrest, Larkin admitted taking part in the robbery. She said she had met Donohoe about a week earlier and she was scared of him.

The court cut Larkin’s sentence to three-and-a-half years said with “some hesitation”, said Judge Barker.