Wednesday, February 6, 2013
A KNIFEPOINT robbery at the home of a 73-year-old man was set up by his friend who was hoping to pay off her drug debts.
Jodey Hicks, 36, was waiting for her friend when he arrived at his Ramsey home at 9pm on April 7 last year.
He invited her in and offered her a drink before Hicks went outside to move her bike into the house. It was then that she left the front door open for Floyd Coppolaro who, a short while later, burst into the living room where the man was sitting with Hicks.
Coppolaro, also 36, pulled a pocket knife from his sleeve and demanded money.
The victim told Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday (January 31) that Coppolaro went to the end of the sofa and searched through boxes before he handed the robber his wallet, which contained £150.
The court heard that Coppolaro then searched the man’s bedroom before asking him for the PINs for his bank cards.
He then forced his victim to drive him to a cash point at Rainbow Stores, Ramsey, to withdraw £200.
Hicks was also in the car and got out with her accomplice to withdraw the money. She told the court that she did this because she was being threatened.
The pair returned to the car and asked the man to drive to another cash point in town, but this time they were unsuccessful – Coppolaro then accused his victim of cancelling his bank card.
Coppolaro then walked away, leaving the victim with Hicks. He drove Hicks to her mother’s house but feared going home, concerned that Coppolaro would return.
In court Coppolaro said that Hicks met him hours before the robbery and told him that her friend had thousands of pounds in his home.
The judge was also told that the robbery was set up as Hicks owed Coppolaro money.
The defendant added that Hicks told him that “if I pulled a tool [weapon] he would easily hand it over”.
Hicks denied making such a statement and said she had been to see Coppolaro that afternoon only to buy heroin.
When Hicks was asked why she didn’t run away during the robbery, she replied: “I was scared and I didn’t realise it was going to be a violent robbery.
“He had a knife and if I did run, he knew where to find me.”
Hicks, of Ramsey Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, and Coppolaro, of Scotts Row, Ramsey, had both previously admitted the robbery and 10 counts of fraud.
The latest hearing was to determine whether Hicks knew Coppolaro would bring a knife.
However, recorder Robert Blomfield said there was not enough evidence to prove “beyond all reasonable doubt that she knew that a knife would be used”.
Hicks and Coppolaro will be sentenced on March 4.