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Jail for woman who robbed 77-year-old Burnley pensioner
1:00pm Tuesday 17th July 2012 in News
A VIOLENT drug addict who robbed a terrified pensioner in her own home after tricking her way in, has been jailed for four and a half years.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Vanessa Daly, 45, made off with two handbags containing cash and bank cards.
She had left 77-year-old Joyce Sharples injured, after the victim put up a 'valiant' fight to stop Daly stealing.
The defendant had demanded money and produced a 'length of steel' which the victim thought was the thin end of a screwdriver.
Daly's actions were said to be a 'mirror image' of an earlier attack, where she had assaulted and stolen from an elderly man in his back yard.
The hearing was told the pensioner was so upset by what happened, she had considered moving from her home of a decade, a place where, until Daly struck, she had felt happy, safe and secure.
Daly, formerly of Shakespeare Street, Padiham, but of no fixed address, had admitted robbery on April 3.
Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said Joyce Sharples, lived in a bungalow in the Padiham area and it was apparent to the onlooker the property was occupied by an 'elderly' person.
She heard a knock at her font door about 11am and saw a female in her porch.
Daly asked: "Can I have drink of water? I think I'm going to be sick."
Joyce Sharples said she would get some water, shut the front door and went into the kitchen. The defendant then entered the bungalow and demanded money from the victim. Joyce Sharples said there were a couple of £1 coins nearby, but the defendant told her :"No, I want more money."
Miss Statham said Daly tried to usher the victim into the bedroom, saw two handbags down the side of a chair, picked them up and then tried to dash for the porch.
Joyce Sharples struggled to get her bags back, there was a scuffle and the defendant produced a four inch length of steel.
Daly pushed the implement towards Joyce Sharples and the pensioner was pushed to the floor. The defendant then made off, leaving the victim frightened, shaken, distressed, bruised and sore.
The court heard Daly had a lengthy record and had served three years for robbery after she had asked an elderly man for a drink, assaulted him and stole from him.
Philip Holden, for Daly, said the violence was unnecessary, but not gratuitous. The defendant had left the area and kept out of trouble, but had come back to Burnley, lapsed into serious drug taking again and committed the offence.
Sentencing, Judge Simon Newell said: “It seems to me there was an element of planning or premeditation.”