DESPICABLE: Robbers who preyed on vulnerable pensioner jailed

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FIVE robbers who targeted the same pensioner twice in his home sniggered in the dock as details of their sickening crimes were read out.

Andrew Woodcock, 34, formerly of Eaves Lane, Chorley, Barry Hesketh, 28, of Buckshaw Close, Astley Village, mum-of-three Jolene Wesley, 31, of Hindley Street, Chorley, mum-of-one Bonnie Kerr, 25, of Stratford Road, Chorley, and mum-of-two Rachel Taylor, 25, of no fixed abode have admitted their roles in robbing vulnerable Clifford Potts, 74, at his Chorley home.

Clifford Potts who has been robbed three times by people that he thought were his freinds

Clifford Potts who has been robbed three times by people that he thought were his freinds

Woodcock received eight years, two months and Hesketh was jailed for four years, eight months, while the three women each received three years, four months.

Judge Christopher Cornwall said: “Robbery of elderly people in their homes is a particularly despicable offence.”

Prosecuting, David Traynor told Preston Crown Court: “On the evening of April 9 he received a text off Rachel Taylor – one of the young ladies he knew saying: “We are both walking about shaking, can we come over?”

Mr Traynor continued: “A short time later there was a knock on the door. There was Rachel and a second woman she said was called Stacey but we now know it was Kerr.

The worst thing is if they’d have came to me and asked I would have lent it them anyway.

“He allowed the two in and asked them to lock the door. He went to the living room and the two ladies went to kitchen where they were making a cup of tea.

“At that stage two men burst into the house.

“One, Hesketh, was being loud and aggressive demanding his money. He had a scarf over part of his face.

“Once the men had left, the two females left. Mr Potts realised his wallet was missing, with £1,200 and his bank card.

The five people jailed for robbing Clifford Potts in Chorley

The five people jailed for robbing Clifford Potts in Chorley

“The bank cards were found in Hesketh’s bedroom and CCTV in a pub showed them an hour later drinking and being in high spirits – essentially celebrating what they had done.”

During the second robbery on June 5, Mr Potts challenged one of the men. At that stage there was a grapple and he was pushed away. Mr Potts described punching him back, wanting to do more but not being able to due to his age.

Judge Cornwall said Mr Potts was a “plainly vulnerable” victim.

Today, Mr Potts said: “I’m the last one of all our brothers and sisters. I’m completely lost now and that’s why I made these friends – I wanted to fill the gap. I was lonely. I’m a sociable guy, and like getting out.

“These people knew that. They knew I was distraught when Mary died.

“But they also knew I had made money when I sold the house she left me.

“The worst thing is if they’d have came to me and asked I would have lent it them anyway.”