Dorset drug users killed man in bank card theft bid

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image copyrightBeverley Cornish
image captionJohn Cornish suffered a fractured larynx as well as bruises and knife wounds, the court heard

Two drugs users who attacked a 75-year-old man in his home in a bid to obtain his bank card have been jailed.

John Cornish died after being grabbed by the throat, beaten and prodded with a knife in Weymouth, Dorset, in September last year.

Hannah Day, 29, who had befriended Mr Cornish, and Aaron Brown, 39, were convicted at Winchester Crown Court of manslaughter and attempted robbery.

Day was given a 14-year sentence and Brown will serve 13 and a half years.

Matthew Jewell QC, prosecuting, said Mr Cornish suffered 42 injuries including a fractured larynx.

"Both defendants were drugs users at the time which is no doubt why they wanted to steal from Mr Cornish," he said.

Police said Mr Cornish's death was caused either by the throat injury or by a cardiac arrest brought on by stress.

image copyrightDorset Police
image captionHannah Day and Aaron Brown were found guilty of manslaughter and attempted robbery

Day, of High East Street in Dorchester, had regularly manipulated the victim for money and obtained about £30,000 from him in three years, police said.

Mr Jewell said Brown, of Lennox Street in Weymouth, first met Day shortly before the attack in The Esplanade on 6 September.

The court heard Mr Cornish died during the afternoon and the pair then spent the night at the property before the body was found the next morning.

Both defendants accepted an attack took place but blamed each other, the jury was told.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionMr Cornish died at his home in The Esplanade in Weymouth

The victim's daughter, Beverley Cornish, told the court Day had "taken advantage" of her "very, very lonely" father.

"He felt pressurised to give her money. He said he was fearful of opening the door and felt like a prisoner in his own home," she said.

Day pleaded guilty during the trial to a charge of theft of a bank card and five counts of fraud.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Garnham told her: "You became a cuckoo in his nest, you were not content with his generosity, you wanted more, so you took it."

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