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19 July 2019, 07:13 | Updated: 19 July 2019, 07:15
A man who pickpocketed a woman as she lay on the ground having a seizure in Manchester City Centre has been jailed.
46 year old Noel Steadman, of no fixed address, was sentenced yesterday (Thursday 18 July 2019) at Manchester Crown Court Crown Square to 22 months in prison after pleading guilty to theft.
He has also been given a four month prison sentence for vehicle interference. The two sentences will run concurrently.
On 21 March 2019, Steadman’s victim, a 39-year-old woman, was walking out of an office building on Nicholas Street, when she fell to the ground and began suffering a seizure.
Immediately after spotting her struggling on the ground, Steadman and another man – who remains unidentified - rushed over to her.
It was at this point that Steadman began rooting through the woman’s pockets and stole her iPhone 6 Plus.
After being disturbed by a passer-by and spotting an ambulance arriving at the scene, Steadman and his accomplice fled the area.
An investigation was launched by GMP’s Operation Valiant team – a specialist unit dedicated to tackling personal robberies in the city centre – and further enquiries identified Steadman as the offender seen on CCTV stealing the victim’s phone.
Chief Inspector Cherie Buttle, of GMP’s City Centre team, said: “Noel Steadman’s actions were nothing short of despicable and I am pleased to be able to say that, as a result of the work carried out by our City Centre Team including officers from Operation Valiant, he has now been jailed.
“This has been a painstaking investigation for the team, and they kept the victim at the heart of everything they did in their pursuit of justice.
“I know the fact that Steadman will be unable to offend in Manchester City Centre for the foreseeable future has brought her great comfort and reassurance. I would like to thank her and pay tribute for the incredible courage she showed in coming forward to support the investigation.
“I hope this case serves as a clear example of the dedication that our Operation Valiant team is prepared to show to bring prosecutions against those who seek to commit one of the most personal of crimes.”