Robber who tied elderly woman to stairlift jailed

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A robber who tied an elderly woman to her stairlift before stealing money saved for her grandchildren’s Christmas present, has been jailed for four years and nine months.

Geoffrey William Garth, 61, of Patterdale Road, Lancaster, pleaded guilty to robbery on the second day of a trial at Preston Crown Court in October last year.

At around 7pm on Friday, December 20 2013, the victim, then 74, answered the front door of her address on Christie Avenue and was confronted by Garth and another man who had their faces covered with scarves.

She was pushed back into her house, tied to a stair lift and was violently threatened by the pair who made demands for money and tobacco.

They then ransacked her house taking around £1000 which she had saved for her grandchildren’s Christmas gifts.

The pair left the house with the victim still attached to the stairlift. It took her 15 minutes to free herself and contact the police.

DC Paul Donnelly said: “This was a despicable ordeal for a vulnerable, elderly lady who should have been safe in her own home.

“She was not only physically assaulted and tied to her stairlift with gaffer tape, but she was also threatened with shocking violence such as having her finger cut off if she didn’t comply with the offenders’ demands.

“What makes this crime all the more sickening is that the incident happened just days before Christmas. Garth and his accomplice searched around the victim’s house, stealing piggybanks filled with Christmas money for her grandchildren.

“I hope that today’s result will provide her with some comfort and closure so that she can start to move forward with her life.”

A second man, Joseph Harkin, 55, of Keswick Road, Lancaster was found not guilty after the trial in October 2015 during which Garth pleaded guilty.