Harold Hill woman found guilty of stealing hundreds of pounds from pensioner after son stabs him four times in the leg

Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Snaresbrook Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A 46-year-old woman who robbed a pensioner of £600 after her son stabbed him four times in the leg has been found guilty.

Joanne Hatwell, of Milldenhall House, Harold Hill, was convicted yesterday, Monday, September 8, at Snaresbrook Crown Court for her involvement in the robbery and stabbing of 75-year-old Harold Jarvis in Retford Close, Harold Hill, on April 9 this year.

She was previously remanded in custody and refused to go to court due to “medical reasons” so was not present.

Her son Ryan Hatwell, 27, lied to police about the incident, attempting to blame his brother before eventually pleading guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

During the trial, Mr Jarvis, speaking via video link from his care home, described the incident where he was stabbed with a carving knife and had his wallet taken out of his back pocket by Joanne, as a “nightmare” and the “worst day of his life”.

He said he used to carry that much cash in his wallet because he had been burgled at home four times previously.

The court heard that Mr Jarvis used to see Joanne on a regular basis and before the incident, spoke to her at the post office.

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Police arrested both Joanne and Ryan Hatwell two days later and found a “wad of cash” stuffed in the sofa at her flat where he was sleeping.

Det Con Rich Draper, the officer in charge of the case, spoke of how after police were called to the scene, officers gathered CCTV from the area which showed Ms Hatwell following Mr Jarvis.

In May, Keith Hatwell, Joanne’s dad and Ryan’s granddad, got in contact with Det Con Draper and said he confronted Ryan about the stabbing.

In court, he said: “I knew Joanne wouldn’t be capable mentally and physically with what she was being charged with.

“I went into the living room and he looked at me and said, ‘alright granddad?’ and I said, ‘alright? No I am not alright’.

“I was very angry, it is such a serious thing to hear what he could have done, I was very upset that he robbed an old man.

“He was hard to get close to – he did exactly what he wanted to do.

“He showed quite a bit of violence over the years and had control over his adoptive parents.

“He could see how angry I was, I never threatened him but at that particular time I could have strangled him for what he done.”

Having told his granddaughter Victoria about the confrontation, she called Ryan and recorded parts of their phone call and sent them sent to Keith, who subsequently forwarded them to the police.

Keith told Det Con Draper where they could find the jacket Ryan was wearing on the day of the attack and police soon discovered the clothing.

He also told police that the knife and Mr Jarvis’ wallet were thrown down drains but when Mr Power asked if drains in the area were searched, Det Con Draper said they had not been able to do so.

Summarising the case, Mr Power said: “He [Mr Jarvis] had known her [Ms Hatwell] for quite some time and in the five years he had known her, there were no robberies at all.

“Then enter stage left Ryan Hatwell.

“If I could change his initials, it would be RLK Hatwell – robber, liar, knifeman.

“What kind of man stabs someone for money who poses no threat whatsoever?

“What I’m saying is that Ryan was in it by himself, we have got enough evidence to prove that and what Keith Hatwell says has got the ring of truth about it.”

The prosecutor Mr Moll summarised saying: “If she [Joanne] was so appalled by what he had done, she would have gone to the police, but no such comment came from her, not at all.

“This is real life, not Judge Rinder’s court so members of the jury, you don’t leave your common sense behind and your experiences of life.

“You would tell the police in some way as Joanne’s father did.”

Joanne Hatwell will be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Wednesday.