Couple bound, gagged and tied 92-year-old woman to chair in terrifying robbery in Burnage
A 92-year-old woman was bound, gagged and tied to a chair as a drug addict couple robbed her to feed their heroin habits.
The elderly victim was left tied up and locked in her own home in Burnage, Manchester, as Edward Connors and Leanna Connors fled with her jewellery including her wedding ring.
Convicted rapist Edward Connors, 30, entered the victim's house after noticing her window had been left open at about 11pm on a warm June evening.
He used a ladder to climb into the bedroom, Manchester Crown Court heard, and then bound the 92-year-old's wrists with a dressing gown cord and ordered her downstairs.
Once downstairs he used the house keys to let in his partner Leanna Connors, 29, who took the woman's jewellery off her and ripped out the phone so she couldn't call for help.
Edward Connors went back upstairs to look for more to steal, the court was told, and when he returned the 'slight' woman was gagged using a pair of tights and another pair of tights was used to tie up her feet.
She was then tied to the chair with a vacuum cleaner cable.
The pair left the house, leaving her tied to the chair and locked in. The elderly victim was eventually able to free herself and call police, after the raid on Thursday, 2 June.
The Connors stole a 22 carat gold wedding ring, another ring, a gold wedding band, and two gold necklaces.
The victim suffered bruising to her wrists, mouth and arms as a result of her ordeal, and has been left traumatised and has since moved home.
Leanna Connors wept as a judge initially said she was considering a possible life sentence.
But both she and her partner were instead given extended sentences for public protection.
Sentencing, Judge Rachel Smith said Edward Connors 'exploited her age and fragility'.
The judge told Leanna Connors: "You could and should have turned away and left the scene.
"You could have gone further and raised the alarm. Instead you joined in with your partner and you did so willingly and with persistence."
Just weeks later the Connors were back on the streets burgling another home.
During a break-in at another property in Burnage, bank cards, a mobile phone, passport, driving licence and beard trimmer were stolen.
Minutes earlier on 20 June, they had been trying the door of another house nearby.
The victim of the break-in was unable to go on a holiday which was booked for a few days later due to his passport being stolen.
The Connors also wracked up £267 worth of purchases at shops including McDonald's and Tesco using a stolen card in the hours after the break-in.
They were identified after police recovered CCTV footage showing the pair making purchases at a petrol station, near to a hotel used to house homeless people where they were staying at the time.
Edward and Leanna Connors, both of Wilmslow Road, pleaded guilty to robbery, attempted burglary, burglary and fraud.
Edward Connors also pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order.
Edward Connors received a total extended sentence of 14 years, including 10 years and 10 months in prison, and an extended licence period of three years and two months.
Leanna Connors was handed a total extended sentence of 12 years, including nine years and nine months in prison, and an extended licence period of two years and three months.
Both were declared 'dangerous' and will have to serve two-thirds of their custodial terms in prison before the Parole Board decide if it is safe for them to be released.
Defending Edward Connors, David Thomson said he'd had a 'difficult childhood' and witnessed violence in the home as a child. He said Connors became addicted to Spice in jail and began using heroin 'quite heavily' after being released.
Connors, a father-of-three, is 'ashamed' of his behaviour and didn't specifically target the elderly victim because of her age, Mr Thomson said.
Kay Driver, for Leanna Connors, said drugs had 'blighted' the defendant's life for 'many years' after turning to them when she suffered abuse.
She had been clean but relapsed after learning she had suffered a miscarriage, the court heard.
She said Connors is remorseful and is on a reduced methadone script while 'making progress' with her drug battle, the lawyer said.