Heartless coward robbed disabled man of jewellery after pretending to be his pal

Pictured is Mark Spencer, 48, of  Parks Avenue, South Wingfield, Alfreton, who was jailed for four years after robbing a disabled pensioner.
Pictured is Mark Spencer, 48, of Parks Avenue, South Wingfield, Alfreton, who was jailed for four years after robbing a disabled pensioner.

A heartless man robbed a disabled pensioner of £1,500 of gold bracelets after he had gained his trust and befriended him.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, sitting as a crown court in Derby, heard how Mark Spencer, 48, met the pensioner at Alfreton bus station and persuaded him to let him come to the 67-year-old’s home.

Spencer, of Parks Avenue, South Wingfield, Alfreton, stayed overnight, according to the court, and was left there alone while the wheelchair-bound pensioner went to a hospital appointment.

Sarah Slater, prosecuting, told how the defendant left but returned five days later with a false story about how his mother had died and the pensioner took him to a pub but when they returned to the victim’s house Spencer grabbed the man by the wrist and pulled £1,500 of bracelets from his wrist.

Recorder Leo Pyle jailed Spencer for four years.

He told him: “You targeted the victim because of his vulnerability. You held him while you pulled the bracelets from his wrist. Then, when you had done that, you threatened him not to tell anyone what had happened.

“There was an element of pre-planning here, you befriended him, he trusted you, and even consoled you and took you for a drink when you fed him a lie about how your mother had died. I view this man as utterly defenceless and vulnerable.”

Ms Slater said the offence took place in November last year.

She said Spencer and the man met by chance and began chatting and the victim invited Spencer back to his nearby home and he spent the night there.

Ms Slater added: “The following day the man had to go to a hospital appointment but trusted the defendant enough to leave him at his home and let himself out.

“Five days later, on November 21, the defendant went to the victim’s home and told him his mother had died.”

The court heard how the pensioner said would buy him a drink and it was when they got back the robbery happened.

Recorder Pyle told the defendant: “You became angry, you took bracelets You left him bruised and upset and he says he now feels nervous in his own home.

“What you took from him had immense sentimental value. It was gold worth something in the region of £1,500.

“He has suffered psychological harm and your only mitigation is your guilty plea.”

Spencer pleaded guilty to robbery and the court was told his offending stretched back 30 years and includes offences of burglary.

Kelly Shooter, defending and mitigating for Spencer, said her client had “used minimal violence” during the offence.