'Despicable' robber given 14 years

A "despicable" drug addict who stole the wedding ring off the finger of an 87-year-old cancer sufferer in her bed has been jailed for 14 years.

Steven Kerr, 35, broke into his neighbour Nellie Holliday's home in the early hours of the morning and grabbed her ring and a gold chain from around her neck.

Widow Mrs Holliday was left "absolutely terrified" by the robbery and was heard screaming as she called for help.

Kerr was jailed for a total of 14 years at York Crown Court for a number of offences.

Judge Stephen Ashurst described the robbery as "cowardly".

He said: "Not content with stealing something in the property that was lying around, you removed the wedding ring from this 87-year-old widow's finger. Having done that, you yanked a gold chain from around her neck."

Judge Ashurst added: "That lady was absolutely terrified."

The judge said such crimes against elderly, vulnerable victims living alone were considered "particularly despicable".

Kerr lived two houses away from Mrs Holliday on Highfield Crescent, in Barlby, North Yorkshire, and had done some gardening for her a few months before the robbery in March last year.

Mrs Holliday had breast cancer and only had a few months left to live. She also suffered from high blood pressure and anaemia and was hard of hearing.