Heroin addicts ‘desperate for their fix’ robbed elderly man – then blamed HIM

Two heroin addicts robbed an elderly man in a shopping centre attack – then blamed the victim. Stephen Goulding snatched the pensioner’s wallet after he and girlfriend Kayleigh Fox followed him through Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre.

Goulding, 33, then told police the victim had touched his partner ‘inappropriately’ in a desperate attempt to explain the struggle. However, it was Fox, 30, who grabbed the pensioner’s bottom as she tried to steal his wallet from his back pocket.

Fox held the door open for boyfriend Goulding who ‘struggled’ with the elderly man and eventually managed to grab the wallet and run off on April 6. They were arrested a short time later after the attack was caught on CCTV and security staff from the centre recognised Fox, due to her being banned.

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Police also recognised Goulding, who has a string of previous convictions for robbery and burglary, prosecution barrister Adam White told Minshull Street Crown Court. Fox, of Atherstone, Rochdale, and Goulding, of no fixed abode, both pleaded guilty to robbery.

Representing both defendants, barrister Stuart Duke said that the pair had taken heroin and crack prior to the robbery and were ‘desperate for their next fix’.

Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre

“To put it bluntly they were both desperate for their next fix and threw caution to the wind,” he said. “I dare say they’d have done anything to secure money on that day.”

Mr Duke told the court that Goulding and Fox are both on methadone treatment programmes to try to tackle their heroin addiction. He added that the victim was “fortunately” not injured during the robbery and said that Fox had left before the main ‘struggle’ took place.

The judge, Recorder David Wood said: “The facts of this case are deeply unpleasant. You both seem to accept that what you did on April 6 2022 was disgusting and have apologised for it.”

Recorder Wood jailed Goulding to two years and four months. Fox was given a two year sentence, suspended for two years.

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