TWO people who arranged a ‘gutless and cowardly’ knifepoint robbery of a 73-year-old man at his Ramsey home have beensentenced.
Jodey Hicks, who was a friend of her victim, organised with Floyd Coppolaro, her drug dealer, that she would leave their victim’s front door open when she visited him at around 9pm on April 7 last year.
Coppolaro entered the home shortly after, unveiled a knife that was up his sleeve and asked his victim for money. The 36-year-old searched the living room and found a wallet that contained £150, before searching a bedroom.
The robber asked his victim for the man’s bank card PINs before forcing him and Hicks to drive to Rainbow Stores, Ramsey, to get some cash from an ATM. The pair left their victim in his car as they withdrew £200 and in the course of the evening failed in two more attempts to withdraw money.
At the previous hearing at Peterborough Crown Court on January 31 recorder Robert Blomfield heard that the robbery was set up as Hicks owed Coppolaro money and circumstances surrounding her relationship with their victim.
Huntingdon Crown Court heard on Monday (March 4) that Coppolaro had a criminal record of attempted robbery, with other matters of shoplifting, theft, burglary and an assault in 2009, for which he was given 15-months imprisonment.
Jacqueline Matthews–Stroud, mitigating for Coppolaro, said he was more of a “petty thief” than a danger to the public. She added: “While he has been in custody, Mr Coppolaro has really tried to begin turning his life around. He is remorseful and he tells me that is genuine.”
Mark Shelley, representing Hicks, said: “The victim regarded her as a friend, someone who liked him and perhaps it makes matters worse as it is a breach of trust.
“It was a criminal enterprise that went far beyond what she imagined.”
The court was also told that Hicks, who is also 36, had been appeared in court in 2009 for shoplifting and 2011 for drink driving. Hicks was also in breach of a conditional discharge that she was given last summer for shoplifting.
Recorder Blomfield jailed Coppolaro, of Scotts Row, Ramsey, to four-and-a-half years for robbery and nine months imprisonment for three counts of fraud to run concurrently.
On sentencing, recorder Blomfield told Coppolaro: “Whatever the circumstances in which your victim lived and the relationship between him and your co-defendant, together you hatched a plot to obtain money from him, monies to pay for drugs you supplied to your co-defendant.
“You carried out this gutless and cowardly robbery on an elderly man with the use of a knife. I have no doubt that he must have been terrified. The starting point for this offence must be custodial.”
Recorder Blomfield told Hicks: “What took place was the most appalling and cowardly act. It was plainly a breach of trust and again I am not in the least bit surprised that your victim can no longer live at his home.
“I made a finding that you had no knowledge that a knife would be used in the robbery which makes it a lesser offence than your co-defendant.”
Hicks, of Ramsey Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, was given an 18-month sentence for robbery suspended for two years, a 12-month supervision order with an alcohol treatment requirement and nine months in prison for three charges of fraud, also suspended, to run concurrently. She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.