South Yorkshire pensioner had £22k stolen from his home during sneak-in robbery, court hears

A man has gone on trial, accused of stealing more than £20,000 from a 74-year-old pensioner during a sneak-in robbery at his South Yorkshire home.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 1:48 pm

Wayne Roberts, 36, is alleged to have carried out the robbery, along with a second man, at the pensioner’s home in Mapplewell, Barnsley on May 15 this year.

Opening the Crown’s case to the jury, prosecutor Amy Earnshaw described how the victim was home alone at around 4pm that day, when two men “burst” into his home through the back door.

She added: “The men said that they were from the water board and had come to test the water pressure. The victim immediately thought that this was suspicious and asked to see some identification. The men ignored this request repeating that they had only come to test the water pressure.”

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Sheffield Crown Court.

Jurors were told that the two men persisted, and Roberts, of Burton Road, Barnsley asked to see the stop tap to check the water pressure – something the two men claimed needed to be done because of the coronavirus.

Ms Earnshaw said this led to the victim feeling “something was not right” and he attempted to push Roberts out of the property with his left arm.

Roberts allegedly responded by threatening to report the victim to the police for assaulting him, but when the victim pulled out his mobile phone to call the police himself Roberts is said to have taken it from him.

The victim was then told that if he gave the two men £1,000 they would leave the property.

Ms Earnshaw added: “The man then became aggressive. The victim was about to push him away when male one [Roberts] punched him with his right fist to his left cheek.”

Following another violent encounter in which Roberts is alleged to have “strangled” the victim and threatened to scold him with boiling water, the victim went upstairs to his safe with the intention of giving the two men £1,000.

But the two men allegedly followed him and removed all of the money in the safe – some £22,000 – before hiding the victim’s landline telephone and making off with the cash.

The victim found his landline stashed in a carrier bag three hours later, and called the police immediately.

Roberts denies one count of robbery.

The trial continues.

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