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Pair jailed after violent South Norwood robbery last year

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A MAN and a woman have been jailed for a combined total of 10 years after the pair committed a violent robbery on a 28-year-old man in South Norwood last year.

Jason Grant, 35, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to five years and nine months imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on Friday, after he previously pleaded guilty to robbery.

Caroline Betts, 26, of Portland Road, South Norwood, was also sentenced to four years and 10 months imprisonment for robbery and 12 months imprisonment for theft, after being found guilty of both offences following a three-day trial. Her sentences will be served consecutively.

In the early hours of August 4 last year, police were called to reports that a 28-year-old man had been robbed and assaulted in South Norwood.

The victim had been approached by the two suspects - a man and woman - in Portland Road, who told him that they knew a late-night off-licence in the area and could take him there.

As they turned into Doyle Road, the victim was tackled and pinned to the floor by the man who told him he had a knife, whilst the woman went through his pockets, stealing his wallet and bank cards before making off.

Police attended and found the victim and took him on a drive-around of the local area and they spotted a man and a woman matching the description of the two suspects at a bus stop in Portland Road. Betts and Grant were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

When officers searched them in police custody, they also found a bank card belonging to the victim and Betts and Grant were charged later that day with robbery and remanded into custody.

Whilst awaiting trial for the robbery, Betts was also charged in connection with a separate theft offence where she stole cash from a vulnerable adult in Bromley on June 27 2014.

Betts approached the victim, who has learning difficulties, outside the Tesco Express store in Croydon Road, Penge.

Betts told the victim that she had recently miscarried and needed £5. She persuaded the victim to withdraw some money from the cash machine and when the victim was about to select the amount of money to withdraw, Betts reached over, selected £250, and then took the money from the machine and made off.

Detectives from Bromley CID reviewed CCTV footage of the incident and Betts was identified as the suspect and was subsequently charged with theft on October 14.

Grant pleaded guilty to the robbery in South Norwood on the first day of their trial on Tuesday January 13. Betts pleaded not guilty to the robbery and theft, but was found guilty of both offences on January 15, following a three-day trial at Croydon Crown Court.

Detective Constable Rebecca Dyer, from Croydon CID, who investigated the robbery said: "This was a violent robbery, where Betts and Grant worked together to target their victim and steal his wallet. Thanks to the quick police response on the night, we were able to take the victim on a drive around the area, where the pair was spotted and arrested.

"This really highlights the importance of reporting offences to police as soon as possible. The quicker we can respond, the more chance we have of identifying and arresting the suspects - particularly in robbery cases."

Pair jailed after violent South Norwood robbery last year


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