Prisoner robbed vicar's wife while on jail leave

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The Independent Online
A robber on compassionate day release from jail helped to carry out a knifepoint attack on a vicar's wife, an Old Bailey judge was told yesterday.

Peter Lindsay, 25, went back to jail after the raid. He even took a telephone call, in prison, from his partner in crime who told him he had sold the victim's stolen rings.

Lindsay was released from prison so he could see his nine- year-old stepson's headmaster about problems the boy was having at school. But instead he took part in the burglary in which Helen Phillips, 51, had her wedding ring torn from her finger after being gagged, tied to a chair, and threatened at knifepoint.

There was uproar in court when Lindsay, of Brixton, and his partner, Robert Shadbolt, 22, of Wimbledon, both south London, were each sentenced to six years imprisonment for aggravated burglary. The men, who had given the police different accounts of what happened, exchanged blows in the dock and had be pulled apart.

Judge Richard Lowry, QC, who described the attack on Mrs Phillips as 'a terrifying experience for her', adjourned the court.

Tom Kark, for the prosecution had told the court that Lindsay was serving a 30-month sentence for robbing a woman of her handbag when he carried out the second attack. He was released from Wandsworth Prison, south London, for a day so he could speak to his stepson's headmaster.

Shadbolt, who was on licence after being released from a two- year sentence for burglary, drove his friend to the school. The headmaster was not available at the time they arrived, the court heard, so the two men, who had first met in Wandsworth jail, decided to comit a burglary instead.

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