Gateshead pair beat and stole from 75-year-old man in his sheltered accommodation
A pair of criminals assaulted and stole from a pensioner in his sheltered accommodation flat.
Amanda Yeaman and David McNeill appeared in court after being found guilty of assaulting the 75-year-old victim - they then stole items from his home while he pretended to be unconscious.
The court heart how the victim, who has since died, considered Amanda Yeaman a friend and she was a regular visitor to his home.
Having been round to borrow some money from him, she returned later that night with David McNeill.
Both of them were intoxicated and were invited in.
Prosecutor David Povall told Newcastle Crown Court: "While there, what might be described as a scuffle ensued and the complainant was assaulted, resulting in minor injuries, scrapes and bruising.
"He then pretended to be unconscious and when they left he activated his alarm. He looked around the flat and found a number of items - a small amount of cash, a mobile phone and a wedding ring - were missing."
Yeaman and McNeill were originally charged with robbery but prosecutors accepted their guilty pleas to theft and assault by beating.
McNeill also admitted offering to supply cannabis after police found texts on his phone indicating he had been doing so to unknown others.
Yeaman, 48, of Milton Road, Whickham, Gateshead and McNeill, 35, of Morris Street, Gateshead, were each sentenced to ten months suspended for 18 months.
Yeaman was given an alcohol treatment requirement while McNeill must do 150 hours unpaid work.
Recorder Tahir Khan KC said: "Yeaman, you were friendly with the victim and regularly visited him at his home. He was 75 and had some weaknesses and was living in sheltered accommodation. No doubt he welcomed those visits you made to him.
"In the early hours of May 1 the two of you went to his flat and while you were there, there was a scuffle in which he was assaulted but without significant injury being inflicted on him. While you were there you stole money, his mobile phone and a wedding ring."
Elizabeth Muir, for Yeaman, said she had a difficult childhood, is remorseful, her adult son recently died and added that she needed help to tackle her issue with alcohol.
Rachel Hedworth, for McNeill, said he has mental health issues and added: "He is very sorry and has made significant progress since these offences."
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