A woman who was said to have lost the plot robbed two Great Yarmouth taxi drivers, smashing one in the face and breaking his teeth and also attempted to rob two pensioners of their shopping bags.

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Lisa Rothery, 35, carried out all the offences over a 24-hour period, in June of this year, and the court heard she later told police that she did not know why she did it but was now ashamed of herself.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Rothery first attempted to rob two elderly women as they walked back home with their shopping in Cobham, Great Yarmouth.

After asking the pensioners the time she then attacked them from behind, trying to grab the bags away from the women, who were aged 72 and 69.

During the struggle both women fell to the ground and one had her glasses smashed before Rothery fled the scene empty-handed.

Robert Warner, prosecuting, said that after making her escape Rothery had got a taxi and during the journey suddenly smashed the driver in the face with his radio, breaking three of his teeth.

Mr Warner said that the driver was bleeding from his injury and Rothery had then snatched £50 from the driver’s top pocket before escaping from the car.

Later on that evening Rothery got into another taxi and asked to go to Gorleston.

At the end of the journey she told the driver she had lost a ring and as he tried to help her look for it in the footwell of the car she hit him over the head with a bottle and then snatched a tray of cash containing £5.

Mr Warner said that in an impact statement one of the pensioners said she is now more wary about going out and was “shaken and upset” at what happened.

The taxi driver who was smashed in the face said that he had been a taxi driver for 30 years and the incident had also made him wary of people and he would no longer work at night.

He also had to spend £1,000 on dental treatment and had to have time off work.

When arrested Rothery told police she had “flipped out”.

Mr Warner said: “She did not know why she had done it.”

He said she told police she had enough money to pay for the taxi and now felt terrible for what she had done, particularly the attempted robbery of the elderly women.

Rothery, of no fixed address, admitted two attempted robberies and two robberies and asked for a number of other offences to be taken into consideration.

Kevin Batch, for Rothery, said the mother-of-eight had some drug issues and had been going through a difficult time.

“For 24 hours she seems to have lost the plot.”

He said there was no pre-planning to the offences and she deserved credit for her guilty pleas.

Jailing her for five years, Judge Alasdair Darroch told Rothery: “You don’t know why you did it and I don’t know why other than clearly it was drug related.”

He said that the courts had to protect taxi drivers and vulnerable elderly people from attacks of this sort.

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