Drugs user jailed for £5 robbery

Natalie Morgan has been jailed for five years after admitting to a charge of robbery.
Natalie Morgan has been jailed for five years after admitting to a charge of robbery.

A pregnant drugs user has been jailed for five years for her part in the violent robbery of an elderly St Leonards man.

At a sentencing hearing at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (June 1), a court heard how 35-year-old Natalie Morgan and an unknown man had forced their way into the home of a 78-year-old man in Braybrooke Road on October 24 last year.

The court heard that Morgan, formerly of Alexandra Road in St Leonards, had gone through the man’s pockets and stole a £5 note while he was pinned to the ground by her unknown accomplice.

Morgan was also said to have demanded the victim’s PIN before she and her accomplice fled the scene. The victim suffered cuts and bruises in the robbery and has reported suffering serious back pains since the attack, the court heard.

The court also heard that the victim had been left feeling ‘fearful’ in his own home and had undergone a ‘change in character’, as a result of the robbery.

Morgan, also known as Natalie Leach, was later arrested and charged with robbery, pleading guilty to the offence at a hearing earlier this year. The court heard how she had previous convictions for both robbery and theft from the person.

At Friday’s hearing, Morgan’s defence barrister James Hay said his client had been a heavy user of both heroin and crack cocaine but has been making efforts to get clean while in custody after learning she had become pregnant.

Mr Hay also spoke of Morgan’s work to help teach other inmates to read and write since being held in custody at HMP Bronzefield. During the hearing Mr Hay read letters to the court from the prison rehabilitation services and from inmates who used the workshop.

Mr Hay said: “She knows her time in Hastings and St Leonards is finished and she needs away from that environment. She is now taking the steps she needs to take to address her drugs use, which was the root cause of her offending.”

In passing sentence, Recorder Lawson-Rogers QC said the crime was serious but said that Morgan appeared to be making an effort to turn her life around.

He sentenced her to a five-year prison term with half on licence, meaning Morgan is likely to serve around two years in prison after time spent on remand.