Man found guilty of kidnap and robbery of wheelchair-bound victim in Norwich park

Thursday, January 30, 2014
4:55 PM

A man accused of robbery and kidnap after a vulnerable quadriplegic was taken to a Norwich park and abandoned after having money taken from his bag will be sentenced next month after being found guilty of both offences.

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Norwich Crown Court has heard the 38 year old victim, who cannot speak and is completely reliant on others for his care, was waiting to be picked up from the Vauxhall Resource Centre when Adam Webster, 38, and Sarah Harcourt were alleged to have wheeled him to Chapelfield Gardens where he was robbed of £6 he kept in a bag.

Harcourt, of Gipsy Close, Norwich, had already admitted robbery and kidnap on August 8 last year but Webster, of William Kett Close, Norwich denied both charges.

But Webster was today found guilty of both offences following a trial at Norwich Crown Court and will be sentenced together with Harcourt on February 27 after reports have been carried out.

The jury of six men and six women took just over seven hours to find Webster guilty of both offences - unanimously on the kidnap count of the indictment and by a majority of 11 to one on the robbery offence.

Webster was remanded in custody until the sentencing hearing.

The court has previously heard that the victim felt “afraid” and “scared” when he was forced to leave a resource centre in his wheelchair and taken to the park.

Giving evidence during the trial from behind a screen with the help of an interpreter and intermediary, he described how he was pushed, against his will, from the centre by Harcourt.

Richard Potts, prosecuting, said: “Did you want to be pushed?”

The victim replied “No”.

Mr Potts asked if he did anything to try and stop being pushed and the victim indicated he tried to put on his brakes.

The jury of six men and six women heard the victim was pushed out of the centre and to Chapelfield Gardens by Harcourt and Webster.

Mr Potts asked how the victim felt when he was being pushed from the centre.

He replied: “afraid and scared.”

The victim said he came to a stop at a coffee shop in the park where, with Webster by his right shoulder, Harcourt sat on his lap, kissed his cheek, before taking money from his bum bag.

Harcourt then said “bye” and the victim was left there on his own.

Mr Potts said: “Tell the jury how you felt then.”

He replied: “Lonely, afraid, scared.”

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