Sick thief robs £1,100 from disabled man in disturbing CCTV robbery
Andrew Merritt robbed an 88-year-old pensioner confined to a mobility scooter of £1,100, a court heard.
The prolific and twisted thief had initially approached the elderly man to ask if he could spare any change for him.
When the kind pensioner handed £3.10 over to the 34-year-old, Merritt went in for a hug.
Shocking CCTV captured the moment of the robbery, which took place in broad daylight on Potter Street, in Workshop on August 1 this year.
Merritt, while hugging the disabled man, grabbed his wallet and callously walked away laughing.
The pensioner, who couldn’t chase after him, pleaded for it back.
The cowardly low-life could be seen counting the £20 banknotes from inside the wallet before dumping the wallet nearby.
Merritt, who had previous convictions relating to 118 offences, eventually admitted robbery and on Wednesday was jailed for four years at Nottingham Crown Court.
One batch of CCTV showed Merritt deliberately in a doorway of a house to change his T-shirt as a disguise following the robbery.
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Six days later, bodycam footage from Nottingham police showed officers arresting Merritt while he lay on his bed.
Before admitting to the robbery, Merritt originally denied stealing the money, insisting the elderly man had bought a bike from him.
During the trial, Merritt was given a Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from Workshop town centre for four years and was ordered to pay a £228 victim surcharge.
Merritt’s previous offences included theft, shoplifting, assault, breaching court orders and burglaries.
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Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Nick Hall, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Merritt’s actions were cowardly in the extreme. He preyed on a vulnerable man knowing he would not be able to stop him making off with his money.
“When he asked for £2, the elderly victim gave him that and more, out of the goodness of his heart.
“It was a kind act of generosity and so it was staggering that Merritt repaid the gentleman’s empathy by robbing him of such a vast amount of money.
“It was an extremely cruel crime and I am pleased Merritt has been made to pay for his appalling actions.
“I hope the outcome at court provides the victim with some comfort in knowing that Merritt can no longer harm anybody in our communities.
“I’d also like to thank the witnesses who came forward with information so that we could put Merritt behind bars.”
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