Deaf robber used interpreter during Dundee flat raid
BBC News, UK
October 30, 2014
A deaf robber who burst into a woman’s flat and used an interpreter to demand money has been jailed for 14 months.
Paul Coombs admitted forcing his way into Laura Fairweather’s Dundee home with two other men in tow.
One of the men acted as an interpreter for the 42-year-old, who also needed a sign language translator at Perth Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Michael Fletcher jailed Coombs despite hearing he would find prison “difficult” due to his deafness.
The court heard that Coombes, also of Dundee, had lent money to Miss Fairweather prior to the incident on 27 June.
He had sent her a text message demanding payment of the £20, and after he received no reply headed to her Hilltown Court flat.
Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson said: “The door was forced open and Coombs and two others entered the flat.
“One of the others did have normal speech and he did the talking, demanding the accused’s money from Miss Fairweather.”
Coombes pleaded guilty to forcing open the door of the property and robbing Miss Fairweather of her bank cards.
Jailing him for 14 months, Sheriff Fletcher notes Coombes had an “extremely bad record for crimes of dishonesty and crimes involving violence”.