JAILED: Robber who targeted disabled driver in Bilston Morrisons car park
A violent robber, who deliberately targeted a disabled husband and wife in their 60s, has been locked up for four years.
James Read struck as the couple prepared to load the weekly shop into their car outside the Bilston branch of Morrisons alongside the Black Country Route in the early evening.
The 26-year-old father of one singled them out because the Lexus was parked in a bay reserved for the disabled, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
He rushed up and said ‘give me the keys or I will stab you,’ revealed Miss Blondelle Thompson, prosecuting.
The 69-year-old husband made a brave bid to beat off the attacker with his walking stick but Read also grabbed hold of it before a blow could be struck.
During the ensuing struggle the robber – who had a sharp metal item in his left hand – threatened to stab the man’s 67-year-old wife. She responded by courageously telling him to ‘get lost’ and tried to kick him, continued Miss Thompson.
Read then turned his attention on her and tried to wrench the woman’s handbag from her grasp. She managed to cling on to it for a short time before being forced to let go.
The attacker fled on foot with the bag which was soon found by the supermarket’s security staff dumped near the store but £85 cash and several credit cards were missing.
Read was caught on CCTV pulling off the hoodie he had been wearing but this was also recovered. Forensic checks discovered traces of his DNA on the clothing. He was also identified from the film footage by a police officer who had dealt with him before.
The defendant then made three unsuccessful attempts to withdraw money using the stolen bank cards and was arrested the day after the August 11 robbery.
The husband later told police: “He planned this incident and, unfortunately, we were the targets because we had parked in the disabled bay. If I had not been there he could have taken the car and seriously injured my wife.”
Miss Cathlyn Orchard, defending, said: “This was an unpleasant incident. Drink and drugs are behind his law breaking.”
Read, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sent to prison by Recorder Justin Wigoder who told him: “What you did was appalling.
“You kept watch on the car park disabled bays hoping for easy pickings but clearly the couple you chose were made of stern stuff. You realised you were not going to get their car and turned your attention to what you wrong thought was a soft touch. This was a serious, planned and targeted offence.”
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