Sheffield Crown Court heard during a one-week trial how Wayne Roberts, aged 36, of Burton Road, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, targeted the 74-year-old man in his home on Royd Avenue, Cudworth, Barnsley, with accomplice James Hughes, aged 37, of Egmanton Road, Athersley North, Barnsley.
Amy Earnshaw, prosecuting, said Roberts and Hughes claimed to be working for the waterboard before Roberts forced his way into the pensioner’s home and punched the complainant, attempted to strangle him and threatened to pour a boiling kettle of water over him as he demanded money.
Recorder Craig Hassall told Roberts during sentencing on Monday, November 16: “He eventually gave in to your demands and he went upstairs and you followed him and cleaned him out of his life-savings – more than £22,000 of cash.”
He added: “He no longer feels safe in his own home, where he’s entitled more than anywhere else to feel safe and secure. He has said – and I have no reason to doubt it –that this horrible experience will stay with him for the rest of his life.”
Roberts hid his clothes after the robbery on May 15 as well as the money which was never recovered, according to Recorder Hassall.
The court heard the pensioner was also deprived of his phone which held images of sentimental value.
Hughes, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to robbery, and Roberts, who also has previous convictions, was found guilty by a jury on November 16, of robbery.
William Glover, defending, said Roberts, has grown-up in terrible circumstances and has been targeted while in prison.
Dermott Hughes, defending, said James Hughes had played a secondary role and had believed they were to commit a fraud and not robbery and he had felt intimidated by Roberts.
He said: “Once the robbery had been committed he was on the fast-track to repentence and everything he did there after, having engaged in what was undoubtedly a wholly cowardly excercise, bore the hallmark of bravery.”
Mr Hughes added since James Hughes has been in custody he has been subjected to threats.
James Hughes also pleaded guilty to a burglary at Lindhurst Lodge Care Home, on Lindhurst Road, Barnsley, with co-accused Jamie Scargill, aged 36, of no fixed abode, where they entered the property on April 19 but were disturbed and fled empty-handed.
Scargill also pleaded guilty to the burglary and admitted a shop theft from April 17 at a Co-op, in Barnsley. He also admitted assaulting two police officers during his arrest on April 19 by claiming he had Covid-19 and coughing at one officer and spitting at another.
Ian West, defending, said Scargill had not appreciated the significance of his assaults in light of what is a “nasty disease”.
Recorder Hassall sentenced Roberts to 14 years of custody, James Hughes to four years of custody and sentenced Scargill to 976 days of custody which equates to over two years and eight months.
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