Thursday, April 2, 2015

"The Crime That Shocked A Nation"

I watched SkyNews online, tonight for awhile to learn about the British PM debate held earlier.
SkyNews has a running news line at the bottom of the screen, like Fox News does, and one of the stories highlighted there seemed an odd addition:  A blurb about a drug addict being sentenced to 4 years for mugging a disabled man, Alan Barnes.

Then the video of the story:  I was shocked, but finally fully understood why the news
network had featured it on international news:
The debate paled in comparasion to Mr. Barnes' story.

The man who mugged disabled pensioner Alan Barnes, sparking a charity campaign that raised over£330,000, has been jailed.

Richard Gatiss was sentenced to four years in prison by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.

The 25-year-old drug addict pushed Mr Barnes over as he put his bins out in Gateshead, breaking his collar bone.

He was trying to get money to buy legal highs when he carried out the mugging, but ran off empty handed.

Judge Paul Sloan QC said: "I have no doubt he was picked on by you because of his vulnerability.  It was on any view a despicable offence."

Gatiss, from Gateshead, was caught after analysis of DNA evidence from the pocket of Mr Barnes's jacket.

Mr Barnes was too scared to return to his home in Low Fell, Gateshead, and has said he will buy a new house with the money raised online.

The fund was started by beautician Katie Cutler, 21, who initially
set a target of £500 to buy new carpets and curtains.

Mr Barnes' disabilities were caused when his mother contracted German measles while she was pregnant.

After he was arrested, Gatiss denied being involved in the mugging, saying he had been brought up better than that, but then later claimed a knifeman made him do it.

When he was challenged, he confessed. Prosecutor Nick Dry said: "He said he wanted money to buy legal highs to which he had become addicted, then breaking down, he was distressed at what he had done."

No comments: