Drug-addled grandma targeted the vulnerable
WOMAN FORCED ONE VICTIM TO HAND OVER JUST 83 PENCE IN CHANGE
A GRANDMOTHER who preyed on mentally ill people to get money for drugs forced one woman to hand over just 83p.
When another victim tried to resist Joanne Moss, 52, she threatened to report him for “rape“, Hull Crown Court heard.
Moss, whose life has been “ruined” by class A drugs, deliberately targeted both victims because she knew they were vulnerable and lived at Ash Lodge, a residential home in Beverley Road for adults with mental health difficulties.
John Thackray, prosecuting, said she pounced on both near Tesco Express, also in Beverley Road, west Hull, on New Year’s Day.
The first victim, a woman in her 50s, was grabbed by the arm by Moss and led across the road, which was “neither necessary nor wanted”. “She said she wanted to go shopping on her own,” Mr Thackray said.
But Moss took her in Tesco and “followed her around the store”, then packed her shopping when she went to pay. Moss told the woman she wanted 50p, and was given it. Then Moss said she wanted £1 and tried to grab the woman’s purse. The woman shouted at Moss, who ran off.
“How much money did she take?” asked Judge Mark Bury. “Eighty-three pence,” said Mr Thackray.
Mr Thackray said the woman “felt like the defendant was going to hit her, and the prosecution say it was not the financial loss to her that was significant, but the conduct of the defendant in pursuing her and trying to obtain money from her”.
“Very shortly afterwards”, Moss had her next victim, when a man in his 30s – who had a physical disability as well as learning difficulties – was targeted in the same shop while on an errand for a friend at Ash Lodge.
He had been given £20 and left Tesco with £15 in his hand, which Moss grabbed after asking him for money. Mr Thackray said: “This was upsetting for the complainant because this was not his money.”
The man said he wanted the money back, but Moss “responded by telling him she would report him to the police for rape if he continued to ask for the money back”.
The victim backed off and went back to Ash Lodge, where he reported the theft to a member of staff. He was “known to be happy and joking“, but spent the rest of the day “close to the staff ”.
A support worker said “he wasn’t himself for a few days; he wouldn’t go out”.
Moss, of Henson Villas, Pearson Park, west Hull, did give the £15 back to Ash Lodge, but was later arrested. She admitted two counts of theft.
Nigel Clive, for Moss, said: “This defendant knows fine well her offences were mean. This defendant, through me, says it’s time for a change.” Moss had been largely disowned by her family and was embarrassed by her addiction to heroin, Mr Clive said.
Jailing Moss for a year, Judge Mark Bury told her: “Addiction to class A drugs has ruined your life. You are 52 years old. If you continue to use class A drugs your life expectancy is going to be drastically shortened.
“You have got serious previous conditions on your record. You’ve been dealing drugs, for which you’ve had a long sentence; you’ve been stealing from people, you’ve been robbing people and you’ve been burgling people’s houses. And here you are again committing serious offences.
“You still haven’t learnt, Joanne Moss, that if you take class A drugs and commit offences to feed that habit you are inevitably going to have to serve custodial sentences.”
When a victim tried to resist Joanne Moss, 52, she threatened to report him for “rape“, Hull Crown Court heard
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