Saturday, September 19, 2009

'Coward' raider gets 10 years

By Richard Blackledge

A ROBBER who attacked two vulnerable women in their homes to feed his gambling habit has been jailed for 10 years for his "despicable" crimes.

Posing as a policeman and an electrician, Martin Cliff, 24, of Shearman Avenue, Kimberworth, Rotherham, conned his way into the women's homes and stole cash and credit cards.He even tore a wedding ring from the finger of one of his victims, Sheffield Crown Court said.

The first victim, Paula Murphy, 34, was wheelchair bound and suffered from spina bifida, while the second woman, Nora Quail, was 82.

Cliff, who lived near both women, approached Ms Murphy's home in Kimberworth a number of times before robbing her on March 30. Posing as a police officer he buzzed her intercom and when she opened the front door, Cliff forced his way in and pushed his terrified victim to the floor in her wheelchair.

Ms Murphy managed to push her panic button but Cliff cancelled the alarm, and ran through her house threatening to kill her before making off with her bag, cash and credit cards.

Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said on his arrest Cliff had told the police they were "out of order" for suggesting he'd committed the crime.

Speaking about Ms Murphy he said: "The incident has had a significant effect on her, and she is now scared of being in her own home where she should feel safe."She says the attack is "constantly on her mind", and often cries and feels emotional. She sleeps in her wheelchair all night because she is afraid to go to bed, and has suffered a blood clot in her leg as a result of spending more time in her chair."

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