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Drug-fuelled robber jailed for 22 years for attempted murder of Skegness pensioner

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: May 03, 2012

  • Michael Hurst

  • Aaron Hawksford

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A DRUG fuelled robber who attempted to murder a frail Skegness pensioner as he tried to defend himself in his own home has been jailed for 22 years.

Michael Hurst, 21, left recluse Winford Falconer, 76, for dead after stabbing him in the chest at his warden-controlled bungalow in Alexandra Court.

Mr Falconer's life-threatening injuries remained undiscovered for almost 24 hours after a care worker who visited him the next morning failed to raise the alarm – wrongly thinking he was asleep.

It was only when a friend called in to see the pensioner after returning from holiday that Mr Falconer was rushed to hospital. He was found to have a stab wound to the chest and a collapsed lung, and was transferred to Nottingham City Hospital for life saving treatment.

Hurst, of Wainfleet Road, Skegnees, had denied he was responsible for stabbing Mr Falconer in the chest but was found guilty of attempted murder after a trial at Lincoln Crown Court last month.

His accomplice, Aaron Hawkesford, 23, of Lincoln Road, Skegness, was convicted of the robbery which occurred at around 8pm on October 13, last year, and was jailed for ten years.

Passing sentence Judge Michael Heath told Hurst he tried kill Mr Falconer after the pensioner had the "temerity" to try and defend himself with a knife he kept in his bedroom.

"You prised the knife from him, he continued to kick and punch you, so you stabbed him in the chest, as the jury found, with the intention to kill him.

"He lay injured until he was found by his friend 24 or so hours later."

Judge Heath added: "He was a very soft target for anybody looking for easy money, and he had been burgled on previous occasions."

The jury heard Mr Falconer lived a reclusive life but was targeted by the pair because he was thought to have cash in his bungalow.

Hurst was previously locked up for two years in April 2009 for a street robbery in Lincoln where 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.

The court heard both men entered Mr Falconer's bungalow after smashing panels of glass in the back door. Hawkesford punched Mr Falconer once, and was then joined by Hurst as the pensioner bravely fought to defend himself.

When Mr Falconer reached for a knife he kept in his home, Hurst stabbed him in the chest. The pair stole the old man's rings off his fingers together with his money, before fleeing leaving and him for dead.

Edna Leonard, mitigating for Hurst, admitted: "This was clearly an elderly man in his own home who had every right to enjoy his retirement.

"Afterwards the defendant demonstrated his callousness to the victim by not calling an ambulance."

DC Phil Graves of Lincolnshire Police said his thoughts were with Mr Falconer who has now lost his independence and is being looked after in a care home.

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  • Seph90  |  May 04 2012, 3:18PM

    seriously, 2 words..........DEATH PENALTY! I'd love to see how tough these two 'hardnuts' would be when they were being strapped to an electric chair or walked up to the gallows! I bet half of these 'bad man, hardnut' youths nowadays would be on their knees crying their eyes out and begging to be forgiven if they got sentenced to a real punishment! cowards! thats all they are, sheer cowards!

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  • vpire  |  May 03 2012, 4:47PM

    Not a big fan of Judge Michael Heath and his sentencing, but in this case, well done sir, you made a good call.

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  • ColinLincs  |  May 03 2012, 11:16AM

    So what does 22 years really mean in terms of the years he will actually serve? The judge should have recommended a minimum term to be served before parole could even be considered. That poor man has lost his independance thanks to these callous scum.

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  • 917199  |  May 03 2012, 10:45AM

    Im shocked to read that the care worker did not attempt to wake him or check him while they carried out there tasks. He could have been dead. To think someone is asleep and not check them is negligence, and would hope they was sternly told off if not sacked.

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  • TB78WHlNE  |  May 03 2012, 9:57AM

    "How about before chucking them inside, stab them and see how they like it!" Grow up.

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  • lynnlincoln  |  May 03 2012, 9:14AM

    Wow, am I reading this correctly 22 years and 10 years, a result or what? I still think the care worker, and whoever is the warden need sacking.

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  • Lincolnshane  |  May 03 2012, 9:05AM

    How about before chucking them inside, stab them and see how they like it!

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