Man who robbed woman as she was having an epileptic fit is jailed for 22 months

David Harding
Contributor
Leonora Royce being robbed (BBC)

A homeless drug addict who stole a woman's iPhone as she was having an epileptic fit has been jailed.

Noel Steadman, 46, committed a 'despicable' act that would 'disgust right thinking people', he was told by the judge.

The incident happened in Manchester city centre.

Victim, Leonora Royce, said the late night incident had 'shaken me to my core'.

Noel Steadman (GMP)

Manchester Crown Court heard how Steadman was caught by CCTV footage which showed him and another man, who has not been caught, carrying the 39-year-old woman into an alleyway off Nicholas Street.

After laying her down, Steadman, stole her and car keys, before opening her Kia Sorento and looking for anything else he could steal.

Mrs Royce, a finance director, was returning from her office. She only came round after being helped by police officers.

Victim Leonora Royce (BBC)

Prosecutor Duncan Wilcock said that Mrs Royce had 'some sort of seizure', and fell to the ground.

One eyewitness thought the men were helping Mrs Royce.

The eyewitness asked Steadman if he was okay and whether they needed an ambulance.

Steadman said: "No, it's okay mate. I will sort her."

However, he was not convinced and asked Steadman and his accomplice if they knew Mrs Royce.

"Yeah, we are with her," Steadman said.

Steadman then began to search through Mrs Royce's pockets. The man thought he was looking for medicine or identification.

Steadman ran off after the eyewitness said he had phoned for an ambulance. He was identified days later via CCTV footage.

Sentencing him to 22 months, Judge David Hernandez told Steadman: "Right thinking people will be disgusted by what you did, because instead of helping her you went out of your way to see what you could get.

"It was clearly and blatantly dishonest, aggravated by the fact that woman was lying in the street, clearly needing help. She was vulnerable.

"You didn't help her, you stole from her; a despicable act."

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