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An 85-year-old nun may have been killed when moped thugs cut her up and robbed her to get her holy water, Hull Crown Court heard on Friday.
The older sister was walking down Cottingham Road in Hull on November 23, 2019 at around 7.45pm. when she was stunned and 23-year-old Matthew Goodwillie and 21-year-old Adam Fenton stole her purse.
The stunned victim could not recall how many people had been on the moped and she only noticed that her purse had been stolen from her when a surprised passerby helped her up.wikipedia
The contents of the bag were mostly personal items, including keys with addresses written on tags, a silver medal on a string, and the bottle of holy water.
CCTV footage of the incident, shown to Judge John Thackray, showed the moped passing her in the direction of Beverley Road before turning around, hitting the pavement and hitting the elderly nun to the ground.
She was reunited with her property when the wallet was later found after it was disposed of by thieves after the 7.45pm attack on Cottingham Road, Hull, East Yorkshire.
Fenton, of Terry Street in Hull, was identified from CCTV footage and the arresting police found 30 bags of cannabis with a street value of £ 535 at his home in Hull.
There was also evidence contained on mobile phones at Fenton’s address suggesting that the defendant owed money to several people, which may have motivated the theft.
Prosecutor Jessica Strange told the court that Fenton had pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery and possession with intent to supply, and had offered to provide information about the crime to police.
When he was brought in for questioning, Fenton provided significant assistance to police and turned over his accomplice Goodwillie, who may have otherwise misled the law, Hull Crown Court was told.
Fenton received a 24-month suspended sentence and a community order of 200 hours of unpaid work for his role in the robbery, a sentence that was reduced thanks to his cooperation with the police.
Defense attorney David Godfrey said that since the time of the violation, Fenton had changed his life, got a job and a partner, and did not commit any more crimes.
Judge Thackray recognized Fenton’s willingness to cooperate and acknowledged that he had been influenced by his senior accomplice.
“ I accept that he is really sorry and that during the last two years he has managed to change his life and find work.
“He should consider himself extremely lucky,” the judge warned.
Meanwhile, Matthew Goodwillie of Troutsdale Grove, Hull, was identified as the orchestrator of the vile crime and was imprisoned for five years and 11 months for theft and possession of a knife.
He was described in court as someone with multiple prior convictions, including assault and drug offenses.
Defense attorney Steven Garth told the court that Goodwillie had suffered from a “miserable upbringing” and had been taking medications for unconfirmed schizophrenia and paranoia for several years.
The lawyer went on to state that his client had been addicted to class A drugs since she was 13 years old.
Judge Thackray told Goodwillie: ‘His carefully chosen victim was an 85-year-old lady walking alone at night, among the most vulnerable people in our society.
You ran into her on a moped and hit her on the ground. Such an action could have caused serious injury, if not death. ‘
“I don’t have the first problem in identifying you as the leader in this company, being the older man at the time of the crime and exerting considerable influence over you, co-defendant.”
Meanwhile, Garth described the robbery as “a wicked act on his part and a terrible ordeal for the elderly victim.”
Matthew Goodwillie Quick and Facts
- The nun was mown down by Matthew Goodwillie, 23, and Adam Fenton, 21
- They stole the elderly victim’s handbag along with her bottle of holy water
- Fenton was identified on CCTV footage and gave up the name of his accomplice
- Goodwillie was jailed for five years and 11 months, while Fenton was given a 24-month suspended sentence and community work