ARMED police were called to a woman’s home in Stroud after a man she had befriended and helped threatened her with a knife and robbed her, a court heard,
Homeless David Dixon, 34, who had known the woman for several years, pleaded guilty at Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday to two charges of robbery and one of affray in early March.
Prosecutor Janine Wood said the victim had befriended Dixon over the past three years and they had supported each other through a number of bereavements.
She often allowed him to visit her home for accommodation, money and food. But gradually Dixon had become more and more abusive towards her, the prosecutor said.
“Dixon was a regular solvent abuser, inhaling gas and lighter fuel,” said Mrs Wood. “On March 4 around 7.30pm the woman was returning home after attending a friend’s funeral when she found Dixon waiting at her door. She let him in and gave him something to eat.
“She also gave him some money to buy alcohol.
“He returned a short while later but began ingesting the contents of a gas canister.
“She warned him to stop or leave her home but he refused. She felt she needed to get away from him and went upstairs. He followed her and demanded money.
“She said no but he grabbed her handbag from her shoulder and the contents fell out. The woman grabbed her purse as she was pinned down on the bed on her back by Dixon.
“However, in order to get her purse, he had to prise it out of her hand and he did this by pulling her thumb backwards.
“She had £45 in her purse which was taken by Dixon, who then left the property.”
The court heard that six days later, on the afternoon of March 10, Dixon was at the property again.
He grabbed a carving knife from the kitchen and demanded money.
“She went upstairs to get her handbag and was followed by Dixon who still had the knife in his hand. She managed to dial the police during the incident and screamed for help.”
The court was told that as the police arrived at the property she warned them from an upstairs window that Dixon had a knife. She managed to escape from the house, leaving Dixon inside.
“Dixon refused to open the door to the police, who told him they were prepared to force open the front door,” the prosecutor added.
“Dixon then opened a window at the top of the stairs and he still had the large carving knife with him. Police then tried to negotiate with him but Dixon said ‘Anybody coming in here will be stabbed’.
“Just before armed response officers arrived Dixon was seen snorting from a gas canister in the window. The police broke in and found Dixon hiding under the bed.”
Sarah Jenkins, defending, said: “Dixon has been in custody effectively during the whole lockdown period, in which he has become substance free.
“At the time of the incident he had reached rock bottom, having become dependent on butane gas in trying to escape the reality of his day to day life.
“This is Dixon’s first time in prison. It has provided a period where he can regain his thoughts and reflect on his actions for which he is now remorseful and accepts his responsibilities.”
Dixon pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery on March 4 and to affray on March 10.
The hearing was adjourned.