Bishop Auckland teenager blackmails vulnerable pensioner

Alan Pearson was just 16 when the pensioner was conned out of £170 as she paid up the money after being intimidated by the teenager and an unknown older accomplice.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the couple saw the pensioner walking with a frame before she followed her home and sneaked into her flat.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said the pensioner was recovering from surgery following a fall when the two men robbed her of her money.

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They initially demanded £70 for window cleaning at her previous home, before increasing the demand to £170, which she paid to get them out of her house.

Miss Atkinson said the pensioner asked for a receipt but the elderly man was unable to provide it before Pearson stepped in and wrote it out.

“They also claimed they had cleared her gutters, but she was quite stoic and refused to hand over any more money and told them to leave,” she said.

“The defendant’s fingerprints were found on the pen and paper used for the receipt.”

The court heard how the couple left before returning and telling their victim they had made a mistake before offering her the money back but she refused to let them back into their apartment.

In a victim’s personal statement, the pensioner said the couple’s blackmail led to her moving in with her son as she was too traumatized to return home.

Pearson, of Dalton Avenue, St Helens, Bishop Auckland, pleaded guilty to blackmail following the incident on November 11, 2021.

Calum McNicholas, mitigating, said his client had been in a “bad crowd” at the time of the incident and was struggling with drug addiction.

He added: “After the crime, the defendant moved home to his parents and has worked for his father ever since.”

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Judge Howard Crowson told the teenager that custody was inevitable after they targeted a vulnerable Stockton pensioner and jailed him for 15 months.

He said: “They saw her and approached her as she was walking home. There was no need to approach her since none of you knew her and you claimed to know her and you were the window cleaner and she owed you money.”

“She didn’t owe you anything, obviously she was targeted because of her obvious frailty. She was chased when you followed her home and your accomplice threatened her with the police.”

“She had no reason to be afraid of the police, but she was worried about police interference and instead chose what she thought was the easy route and decided to pay.”

“It was a lie that she ever had windows cleaned.” Bishop Auckland teenager blackmails vulnerable pensioner

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