A mother and son have been jailed for a total of 16 years after an elderly man was stabbed during a robbery in which his pension was stolen.
Joanne Hatwell, 46 (29.10.71), unemployed of Redcar Road, RM3 was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment on Thursday, 11 October at Snaresbrook Crown Court alongside her son, Ryan Hatwell, 27 (14.12.90) of the same address who was also sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.
Ryan Hatwell pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon for which he was sentenced to six-and-a-half years and one-and-a-half years imprisonment respectively, to run consecutively. His mother was found guilty of robbery, on Monday, 8 October at the same court.
The court heard how the pair targeted a vulnerable 75-year-old man on Monday, 9 April after he had gone to his local post office in Harold Hill to withdraw his pension.
The victim went to the post office in Peterfields Road, Romford at around 15:50 hours, 10 minutes away from where he lived and withdrew £160.
Following this he entered a number of shops and was approached by a woman who he recognised as living nearby but didn't know her name.
The woman followed him home and before he was able to open his front door she informed him, he would be robbed.
Another man joined the woman and threatened to stab victim if he did not hand over his money. The victim refused and he was stabbed in the leg.
The suspects made off and a neighbour who witnessed the aftermath of the attack came to the victim's aid and called police.
The victim was taken to an east London hospital with stab wounds to his leg which were not life threatening or life changing, eventually making a full recovery.
Detectives from the East Area Command Unit began a full investigation, trawling CCTV in the area to identify the suspects responsible.
Local enquires were conducted and CCTV was found from the Petersfields Road shops that showed the victim talking to the female suspect.
It was established that the woman was Joanne Hatwell and the man, was her son Ryan Hatwell both known to police.
Officers attended their home address and arrested them on 10 April on suspicion of robbery and they were taken into custody.
The victim positively identified Joanne Hatwell and she was charged on 12 April. Ryan Hatwell was released under investigation in order for officers to find more evidence which linked him to the crime.
Following enquiries, they established that Ryan Hatwell often stayed at the home of his adoptive father and a search warrant was obtained.
On 18 May, officers executed a search warrant at an address and during the search a blue jacket was found, the same as the one that was worn by the male suspect on the CCTV footage.
It was also established that Ryan had spoken to family members and admitted he had stabbed the victim.
He was arrested on 3 August in light of the new information, and interviewed. He denied the offence and was charged later that day.
Detective Inspector Jason Prendergast, of East Area Command, said: “This was a wicked attack on a vulnerable man, someone who Joanne and Ryan Hatwell knew and targeted.
“After collecting his pension, the victim was stalked by Joanne and Ryan Hatwell and when he refused to hand money over to them, they stabbed him numerous times and then fled leaving him bleeding profusely.
“The victim was traumatised after this incident, prior to which, he was living independently at his home. But after the attack his health has deteriorated and he now lives in a care home.
“This is a crime that shocked the community and I can only hope that the convictions and sentences handed down to Joanne and Ryan Hatwell go some way to making our communities feel safer.”