Beeston woman attacked and robbed elderly, disabled man on his doorstep for £50

A woman from south Leeds has been jailed after attacking and robbing elderly men on their doorsteps.

By Richard Beecham
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 4:41 pm

A sentencing hearing at Leeds Crown Court heard how Kirsty Barker, 33, from Crescent Towers, deliberately targeted two elderly males at their homes, pushing them to the ground and stealing their wallets.

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The court heard on April 19 this year, one of the victims - a 79-year-old man - heard banging on his front door while in his home on Dewsbury Road. When he answered, Barker then pushed past the victim, causing him to fall to the floor. She then took his wallet from his coat pocket, stealing £40 in cash.

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Kirsty Barker was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Barker was later identified by the taxi firm she used to travel to the house.

On April 22, she went to the house of a 74-year-old man with mobility issues on St Matthias Court. The court heard Barker had known the man for a number of months, having helped with his shopping and cleaning. When the victim was leaving his house at around lunchtime, Barker approached, grabbed him by both arms and pushed him back against the door, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground.

The court was told the victim was shouting at Barker and pulling her hair in an attempt to get her to leave, but she still managed to retrieve his wallet from his jeans pocket, stealing £50 in cash and a credit card. He went to his bank soon after the incident, when he found money had been withdrawn, before returning home to find his wallet had been posted through the letterbox.

A personal statement given by the victim, who walks with crutches, said he is now not going out as much as he used to, and that the incident had an effect on his social life, as he no longer likes to leave the house without another person.

Police raided Barker's flat and found the second victim's credit card.

Mitigating for Barker, Catherine Duffy told the court: "She has expressed to me how much she regrets her behaviour - she has drafted letters to both complainants, but they have not been sent as it was thought it would not be appropriate."

Ms Duffy added Barker had battled with addictions to crack, heroin and diazepam for 10 years, and had lost custody of her three-year-old daughter in 2020. Despite staying clean for 18 months before receiving a grant to have rehabilitation therapy, Barker then relapsed after the death of her ex partner's mother, whom she regarded as a parental figure.

"She found this hard to deal with and turned to drugs," Ms Duffy added. "She is now determined to stay clean.

"She is going to put her time in custody to good use. She wants to get a job and provide a more stable background for her child."

Barker had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery.

Sentencing Barker, and referring to the first assault, Judge Robin Mairs said: "This was a shocking and disturbing incident for him.

"[The second victim] Knows you and you did jobs for him. He was on crutches, he struggled but could not prevent you from removing his wallet.

"You selected what you thought were easy targets. You selected elderly men who you thought were easy pickings.

"You targeted these victims because of their vulnerability."

He sentenced Barker to four and a half years in prison and gave the two victims restraining orders against Barker.