Ordeal of 12-year-old Portsmouth girl robbed by drug addict

CCTV footage of 12-year-old girl running away after being robbed by Ian Linnane (background)
CCTV footage of 12-year-old girl running away after being robbed by Ian Linnane (background)
Athena Avenue

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A 12-YEAR-OLD girl is afraid to go out after being robbed by a paranoid schizophrenic man while running an errand for her mum.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the victim suffered a ‘terrifying experience’ at the hands of recovering drug addict Ian Linnane.

Now Linnane, who has convictions for 31 previous offences, is behind bars after pleading guilty to robbery.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had just withdrawn £20 from a cash point in St James’s Road, Southsea, when Linnane struck.

He snatched the cash and her mum’s bank card from the girl’s hand and made off at about 8.15pm on June 22.

Describing the effect the robbery had had on the victim from a written statement, Gareth Burrows, prosecuting, said: ‘The victim describes being scared now. Scared to go out to buy milk and go to the shop.

‘This means her mum goes out less. It’s impacted her in terms of activities that she used to go to in terms of drama clubs. She is too frightened to go and stay with her grandparents because she used to travel on the train.’

Mr Burrows added: ‘In short, she says this was a terrifying experience.’

Robert Forrest, defending, said in mitigation that drug addict Linnane had suffered a relapse and at the time of the robbery was taking about £50 of crack cocaine a day.

Mr Forrest said: ‘He doesn’t remember the details of the incident very well.

‘He’s totally ashamed of his behaviour.’

Linnane, formerly of Sandringham Road, Portsmouth, was sentenced to nine months in prison at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Judge Roger Hetherington, sentencing, said: ‘She (the victim) has been left withdrawn, she doesn’t go out, she doesn’t go to clubs, she’s scared, she’s had nightmares and so forth.

‘In other words it’s had a devastating effect on a young girl.

‘It’s quite impossible in the circumstances to deal with this case other than by way of a prison sentence.’

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Sgt Gary Cable said: ‘This man was drug addict with a history of offending.

‘Clearly he targeted a 12-year-old girl, a vulnerable victim.

‘This has had a significant impact on the victim’s life.

‘This proves Hampshire Constabulary will take positive action in all matters of this nature.

‘The end custodial sentence reflects this.’