A CONVICTED killer and a heroin addict who teamed up to mug a deaf woman as she walked home with her shopping have been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard how killer John Greenwood and Danielle Yamana Apostoloff Boyarin pulled 65-year-old victim Pamela Evans’ hood over her eyes before snatching her handbag in the “terrifying” daylight robbery.

Judge Mark Brown praised builders Paul Walsh and Daryl Cunliffe who saw Greenwood and Boyarin and leapt into action after hearing Ms Evans screaming for help, and detained the defendants until police arrived.

Prosecuting, Stephen Parker said that Ms Evans was walking home from Tesco in Accrington at 8.15am on February 19 when she was approached by Greenwood and Boyarin in Willow Street.

Greenwood tried to engage her in conversation but she couldn’t understand what he was saying and waved him away.

Mr Parker said as she turned the corner Boyarin, 24, and Greenwood, 46, continued to follow Ms Evans.

Mr Parker said: “The next thing the female defendant grabbed hold of Ms Evans’ coat hood, pulling it over her eyes so that she was both blind and deaf at that point.

“Greenwood took hold of Ms Evans' handbag, which was across her shoulder. She tried to keep hold of it but he pulled it with some degree of force, causing the bag to snap, and the two of them ran off.

“Two builders were working on a nearby church, Paul Walsh and Dylan Cunliffe. They heard screaming.

“They saw the two defendants running up the street. The two builders stopped what they were doing to watch what was going on. Moments later they saw Ms Evans running up the street, and noticed that Greenwood was in possession of a handbag, and put two and two together and thought these two defendants had just stolen the handbag off the lady.

“They were both seen to crouch down behind some large industrial dustbins. Both builders approached both defendants and they were both forcibly detained at the scene, Boyarin being taken hold of by the neck and Greenwood being punched in the face.”

When questioned by police, Boyarin tried to distance herself from the robbery, claiming she had tried to help Ms Evans but when Greenwood was asked if he had committed the robbery he said: “Too right.”

Mr Parker said: “He described himself as a heroin addict and that’s how he knew his co-defendant. He had gone out wanting to score drugs, he saw an old lady on the street pulling a trolley, he asked her the time and he said at that point he appreciated she was deaf and he hadn’t done so previously. The co-defendant said ‘she’s got a bag, get it’ and between them that’s what they did. He said he was using £40 to £60 of heroin a day at that time.”

In her victim personal statement Ms Evans said she used to walk everywhere but was now scared to. She said that she’s still frightened and because of her deafness she can’t hear people coming up behind her.

Greenwood, of Hythe Close, Blackburn, who has 13 convictions for 16 offences – including a 1997 manslaughter conviction, pleaded guilty to robbery.

Boyarin, of Commercial Street, Bacup, who has 16 convictions for 33 offences, also pleaded guilty to robbery.

Defending Greenwood, Bob Sastry said his client had managed to live a law-abiding life for 10 years up until he committed this offence.

Mr Sastry said: “I acknowledge this was a serious offence committed on one of the more vulnerable members of society and Mr Greenwood is fully aware of that. It is fortunate and he is relieved that there were no physical injuries. Mr Greenwood is genuinely remorseful.”

Defending Boyarin, Keith Harrison said: “She expresses through me sincere regret for her actions.

“The facts as far as she is concerned are that she was on her way to buy drugs, they came across this lady, and she fell in with the co-defendant’s idea to rob this lady. She had been living a hand-to-mouth existence to fuel her drug habit.”

Boyarin and Greenwood were each jailed for three years and two months.

Judge: Reward the hero builders

THE judge at the sentencing of the man and woman who mugged the deaf woman expressed his keenness that the two men were recognised for their bravery and public-spiritedness.

Praising Paul Walsh and Daryl Cunliffe, Judge Mark Brown asked that the East Lancashire divisional police commander write to them on his behalf expressing his admiration for their “courage and public-spiritedness”.

Judge Brown said: “I am most anxious that there should be due recognition to both Mr Walsh and Mr Cunliffe. Each of them acted in a public-spirited and courageous fashion.

“They wouldn’t know whether either Mr Greenwood or Ms Boyarin were armed or how they would respond when both of them got involved to recover Ms Evans’ property, and also ensure that both defendants were apprehended.”

He added: “I am sure the police themselves are extremely grateful to both of them for what they did on this occasion.

“I do think it is important that the message should go out to the public that if they act in a public-spirited way then it is recognised.”