Robber found guilty of attempting to murder Skegness pensioner
A SKEGNESS man convicted of attempting to murder a 75-year-old pensioner during a robbery at the old man's home is facing a lengthy jail sentence.
Michael Hurst had denied he was responsible for stabbing Winford Falconer in the chest during the raid on his warden-controlled bungalow.
But the jury at Lincoln Crown Court took just three hours to return a guilty verdict.
Hurst, 21, of Wainfleet Road, Skegness, had previously admitted robbery as a result of the incident on October 13, 2011.
A second man, Aaron Hawkesford, 22, of Lincoln Road, Skegness, was cleared of attempted murder on the directions of the judge. Hawkesford was found guilty of robbery. He had denied both charges.
Both men were remanded in custody by Judge Michael Heath who adjourned sentence until later this month.
After the verdicts were returned the court was told that Hurst was previously locked up for two years back in April 2009 for a street robbery in Lincoln when he threatened his victim with a hammer before stealing just £5.
Hawkesford was described as having previous convictions for "numerous offences" including assault, burglary, theft and shoplifting.
During the trial Gordon Aspden, prosecuting, told the jury that both Hurst and Hawkesford entered the bungalow after smashing panels of glass in the back door.
The pair stole the old man's rings off his fingers together with his money and a small amount of cannabis.
Hurst then stabbed Mr Falconer in the chest before both fled leaving their victim for dead.
A care worker who checked on Mr Falconer the following day thought he was simply sleeping off a hangover and left him alone. It was only when a friend who returning from holiday called in to see the pensioner that the alarm was raised – almost 24 hours after the stabbing.
Mr Falconer, who had previously lived rough in the Skegness area before moving to Alexandra Court, lived a reclusive life but the jury were told he was targeted because he was thought to have cash in the bungalow.
The old man was taken to hospital where he was found to have stab wound to the chest and a collapsed lung. He was later transferred to the Nottingham City Hospital for further treatment.
The prosecution claimed that although Hawkesford did not actually stab Mr Falconer his presence alongside Hurst inside the bungalow meant he was equally guilty of attempted murder.
But Hawkesford denied he was involved in the robbery.
At the end of the trial DC Phil Graves of Lincolnshire Police said "This was a despicable crime committed against a frail, elderly man in his own home. He was beaten to the floor and then stabbed in the chest when he posed no real threat to the intruders at his address.
"Michael Hurst and Aaron Hawkesford had no threat from Mr Falconer who must have been petrified throughout his ordeal.
"They robbed Mr Falconer simply to obtain money to fund their heroin habits and then left him alone suffering from injuries that could easily have led to his death.
"They didn't make any attempt to summons medical assistance for him.
"My thoughts are with Mr Falconer at this time as he continues to recover from this attack and subsequent medical problems."