Elderly couple attacked by ‘crack addict with knife’ at graveside of relative in Yorkshire

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A knife-wielding drug addict who attacked an elderly couple as they tended a relative’s grave has been jailed for 10 years.

The husband and wife, both in their 70s, were visiting Bowling Cemetery, Bradford, on the afternoon of May 10 when they were confronted by drugged-up “crack” addict Robert Seaman.

The dangerous criminal, who served previous jail terms for wounding and violent handbag snatches, was carrying a knife with a six-inch blade and demanded the woman’s handbag.

Bradford Crown Court heard how the pensioner would not let her bag go and she was violently pushed to the ground during a struggle and landed on a nearby gravestone.

Prosecutor Andrew Horton said her husband, who had been on his hands and knees tending to the relative’s grave, was also pushed over and he was also hit in the face by Seaman, knocking his glasses off.

Seaman, 29, fled with the handbag, which contained about £80 in cash as well as mementos of the woman’s deceased sister, but he was arrested later at a property and the knife used in the robbery was found.

Mr Horton said there was concern about the woman’s heart rate after the robbery and she had to undergo a scan. Seaman carried out that attack just six days after he committed another serious robbery at the New Beehive Inn on Westgate, Bradford.

Last month the defendant, of Douglas Road, Bradford, admitted a spree of offences including two robberies, assault, theft of vehicles, burglary and driving without insurance.

The court heard that Seaman, who had 13 previous convictions for 37 offences on his record, was released from a 54-month sentence in December.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told Seaman he was a very good example of the dangerous effect of crack cocaine and heroin. In addition to the 10-year prison term the judge imposed an extended licence period of five years following Seaman’s release from custody.

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