Crack addict jailed for four years
A crack addict who robbed a social worker helping a Wigan estate's vulnerable drug users has been jailed for four years.
Health professional Susan Gleaves, attacked on her first day back at work by Patrick Lannon after battling stress, says she no longer wants to work in Scholes, Bolton Crown Court heard.
And even though Mrs Gleaves stood up to the 24-year-old former plasterer, her ordeal had left her questioning some of her core beliefs, the court heard.
Lannon had been indulging in an all-night drink and drugs binge which had already left one victim bloodied and needing 10 stitches to a head wound.
Prosecutor Brian McKenna said Lannon and 46-year-old Suzanne Pendlebury hit Benjamin Hopkins over the head with a spirit bottle filled with coins and a wall mirror during a confronation at his flat.
Jailing Lannon and referring to his robbery victim, Judge Graham Smith said: “It is tragic that she has lost some of her trust in people and she will not be available to assist people in the Scholes area in future.”
Lannon, of Ince Green Lane, Ince, admitted to offences of robbery and unlawful wounding. Pendlebury, pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and was jailed for 33 months.
Mr McKenna said Pendlebury had met up with Mr Hopkins, her former partner, in Wigan town centre on October 20 last year.
The pair decided to meet up later at his flat, and Lannon, who he knew, was invited along also. During the evening the trio drank strong cider and took crack cocaine.
Mr McKenna said Lannon suggested carrying out a robbery, at one point, so they could afford more drugs, but Mr Hopkins declined.
Later a bottle of vodka was purchased, which was consumed, and Lannon suggested all three have sex together, an idea which Mr Hopkins again declined. He went to bed but was aware of Lannon and Pendlebury having sex in the other room.
The court heard this led to an argument between all three of them and Lannon and Mr Hopkins exchanging punches.
Lannon then picked up a foot-high drinks bottle, which Mr Hopkins used to collect coins in, and knocked the other man to the floor.
Pendlebury also started to punch him before she grabbed a mirror from the wall and smashed it over his head, the court heard.
Before Lannon could escape the flat and run to a neighbour’s home to summon the police, Lannon managed to fell him again with the bottle.
Mr McKenna said around 9am that morning social worker Mrs Gleaves had just arrived for her first day back at work, after being off with stress, and was on her mobile phone when she felt a pull on her handbag.
She was confronted by Lannon, who forced her to her knees, spinning her around at one point on the ground before managing to grab the bag, the court heard.
He ran off but she pursued him to a nearby ginnel, where they had a second “tug of war” over the bag. Eventually she managed to wrestle the bag back.
The court heard Lannon and Pendlebury were arrested shortly afterwards.
Keith Harrison, for Lannon, said his client had suffered from depression following the death of his father and had begun to abuse cocaine later.
Paul Becker, for Pendlebury, said she had herself been the victim of domestic abuse, from another relationship, and could appreciate the implications of her attack on Mr Hopkins.
In a victim impact statement, Mrs Gleaves, who worked with vulnerable adults with drug problems, described Lannon’s attack as “selfish” and confirmed that she no longer worked in the Scholes area.
“It’s my concern that this attack has not just affected me but affects people in the Scholes area, whether Patrick Lannon is concerned by that or not,” she added.