Married couple locked up for 21 years for robbery in which victim suffered fractured skull in his Yorkshire home

A married couple have been locked up for 21 years after they left a man unconscious with a fractured skull during a robbery at his flat.

Sunday, 10th May 2020, 5:09 pm

The victim was found unconscious in his blood-spattered home in Huddersfield after being attacked by Craig and Estelle Kearney.

Leeds Crown Court heard the victim's work colleagues found him unconscious in the flat on Wakefield Road, Moldgreen, after becoming concerned for his safety.

He has suffered life-changing injuries after undergoing emergency surgery for a bleed to his brain.

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Craig and Estelle Kearney were jailed for a total of 21 years over robberies in which a man suffered a fractured skull in an attack at his home in Huddersfield.

Craig Kearney was jailed for 12 years and his wife was given a nine-year sentence.

The court heard the couple also carried about a separate attack on a vulnerable man with mental health problems in Huddersfield town centre.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said the Kearneys targeted the victim in his flat on June 14 last year.

The pair were caught on CCTV footage approaching his home shortly before the attack.

Craig Kearney was locked up for 12 years.

Neighbours described hearing shouting coming from the victim's flat.

Craig Kearney was heard to shout: "Now you know what I can do."

After the incident, a friend of the couple saw Craig Kearney with blood on his clothing and he claimed he had stamped on the victim's head.

The prosecutor said wet wipes were found in the flat which indicated that the Kearneys had tried to clean up blood at the scene to hide forensic evidence.

Estelle Ramsden was given a nine-year sentence

Mr Ahmed said the 58-year-old victim has no recollection of the attack.

His friends called an ambulance after going to his home and finding him with serious head injuries.

In a victim statement read to the court on the man's behalf, he described how he was in hospital for four months after the attack.

He is no longer able to work and is unable to look after his dog due to his injuries.

The victim described how he had also moved away from the area as he was too frightened to live in the same flat.

He said: "The man I was and the life I had has all gone.

"I now have none of those things and totally rely on my family.

"I may look alright on the outside but I'm a mess on the inside."

The victim described how he had to have speech therapy and physiotherapy.

He added: "As I can't remember things now it feels like I'm in a bubble."

The couple also robbed a man in Huddersfield town centre on April 1 last year.

The attack took place near to the Parish pub on Kirkgate.

CCTV footage showed Estelle Kearney throwing punches at the victim before her husband joined in the attack, biting and punching him.

The man was knocked unconscious and £100 was taken from him.

His injuries included a black eye and a bite mark.

The couple, of Browroyd Avenue, Rawmarsh, Hudderfeild, pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and wounding with intent.

Carl Kingsley, for Craig Kearney, said the couple had a long-standing addiction to heroin which was linked to the offences.

Anastasis Tasou, for Estelle Kearney, said she was not responsible for inflicting the most serious injuries.

He said: "She knows that she participated in some small way and she falls to be sentenced under the principle of joint enterprise."

"She is 37 years of age and has a long-standing heroin addiction.

"She can't remember a time when she was completely drug free."

Jailing the couple, Judge Christopher Batty said: "It is very sad that two lives have been ravaged by addiction.

"Both of you have positive qualities that have been dissipated because of your addiction to drugs and alcohol.

"At the time of these offences you were both on the streets trying to get money in whatever way you could."

The judge added: "What both of you have done is play a significant part in destroying the lives of two men."