RELATIVES of an elderly and disabled crime victim burst into a round of applause for a judge who jailed a sneaky South Yorkshire pickpocket.
Vincent Molloy’s family were in the public gallery to see a two-year prison sentence imposed on Adam Ricky Seward - who uttered an expletive as he was sent down.
The 24-year-old had deliberately targeted Mr Molloy after seeing him withdraw a large sum of cash from the Yorkshire Bank in Mexborough High Street last month.
Mr Molloy, aged 67, uses a mobility scooter because he is paralysed on his right-hand side as the result of a stroke and a brain haemorrhage.
Seward, of Rowms Lane, Swinton, Rotherham, followed him from the bank after he took out £360 in cash for household bills, and “saw him as an easy target”, Carl Fitch, prosecuting, told Doncaster Crown Court.
Mr Molloy had to use the public toilets near the market in John Street and, while washing his hands, felt Seward bump into him and then ask if he had change for a note.
“The distraction led the defendant to pick his coat pocket, which was 10ins deep, and take his bank book with the £360 in it. When Mr Molloy went outside he saw his bank book on the floor, minus the money,” said Mr Fitch.
A few minutes later police stopped Seward because he was acting suspiciously and they searched him. He was found to have £430 in his possession but, because the theft had not yet been reported, he was not detained.
Mr Seward was initially too embarrassed to report the theft - and went back to the bank to withdraw the same amount. But when a cashier queried the transaction he was persuaded to contact the police.
When police checked the bank’s CCTV they recognised Seward and he was arrested an hour later - but by then had spent most of the money.
The court was told Seward had 15 previous convictions dating back to his youth. He pleaded guilty to theft.
Judge Peter Kelson QC said Seward targeted Mr Molloy because he was vulnerable and weak. “You decided you’d have him and you followed him,” he said.