When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Mugger who struck in Oswaldtwistle is jailed for eight years
9:06am Friday 1st March 2013 in News
A ‘DANGEROUS’ masked robber who terrorised three women, one of them heavily pregnant, in two separate, premeditated attacks a day apart, has been jailed for eight years.
Burnley Crown Court heard how chronic drug addict Phillip O’Dea, 34, was armed with a knife when he targeted a woman who had stopped at a cash mach- ine, in her car, in Oswaldtwistle.
O’Dea, who also picked on a lone Accrington shop owner, has a record for mugging women, and his past crimes have included snatching a handbag from an 80-year-old woman and knocking her to the ground, and taking a purse from the basket of a 58-year-old disabled vict-im’s wheelchair.
O’Dea told his latest vulnerable victims he was dying of AIDS to try and frighten them into submission.
He punched Dena Marchese as he tried to steal from her in front of her hysterical, and crying, pregnant daughter, who was due to give birth two days later. Plucky Mrs Marchese fought back to try and protect her daughter and saw O’Dea off empty-handed.
The day after, he turned up at a clothing shop, in Water Street, Accrington, and got away with cash, leaving his victim Lisa Milburn ‘sobbing her heart out’.
He was chased and detained by a passer-by, but struggled free after discarding clothing. His coat contained a used needle. O’Dea was caught through his DNA on a scarf left behind.
O’Dea, of Stanley Street, Accrington, who has 45 offences on his record, inc-luding robbery with an imitation firearm, admitted shoplifting on February 3, attempted robbery of Mrs Marchese and having an offensive weapon, on February 6, and robbery on February 7. He asked for six thefts and four burglaries to be considered.
O’Dea, subject to two suspended sentences when he struck, was also given three years’ extended licence, after Judge Beverley Lunt ruled he was a dangerous offender.
John Woodward, defending O’Dea, said: “He is deeply sorry and he expresses genuine concern, particularly for the lady who was pregnant, in the car.”
Judge Lunt praised Mrs Marchese's bravery, protecting her daughter from O’Dea.