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Jailed: Rusholme robbers who smothered pensioner with pillow as she slept

By Dean Wilkins

A pair of Rusholme robbers who smothered an 81-year-old pensioner with a pillow in her bedroom were jailed today.

Barry Hillton, 49, and Thomas Pearson, 43, were sentenced to four years and five months and five years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty to robbery.

The duo attacked the woman as she slept before demanding cash and leaving with her handbag.

Detective Constable Adam Cronshaw, of Longsight CID, said: “This was a terrible crime on a defenceless 81-year-old lady woman who has been sadly affected as a direct result of Hilton and Pearson’s actions.

“They directly targeted her as they knew the residents of these flats were all elderly and likely to be vulnerable. To be woken and robbed in the middle of the night, in your own home, must be terrifying for anyone but especially an 81-year-old single woman.”

On August 9 2011, the victim, who lived alone in her Fallowfield flat on Wilmslow Road, awoke to find a man searching through her bedside drawer.

When the offender saw that she was awake he walked over to her and put his hand on her face before demanding cash.

After screaming for help, the second man then picked up a pillow and covered her face, before releasing it as she gasped for air.

The pair stole her handbag, which contained cash, and left.

The woman’s handbag was discarded on nearby Victory Street, without the money.

Detective Constable Cronshaw added: “The sentences handed out by the court will serve to protect the public from these offenders who clearly have no issues in targeting the vulnerable.

“GMP will always relentlessly pursue anyone who commits this type of crime until they are brought to justice.”

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