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Jail cut for con artist mum who betrayed disabled pensioner

PUBLISHED: 15:51 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:28 07 September 2010

A single mother from Hampstead who befriended a disabled pensioner and betrayed him to violent robbers has had her jail sentence slashed. Jane Tucker, 42, allowed three men into the home of frail Alfredo Sammutt, where they beat him and robbed him of his

A single mother from Hampstead who befriended a disabled pensioner and betrayed him to violent robbers has had her jail sentence slashed.

Jane Tucker, 42, allowed three men into the home of frail Alfredo Sammutt, where they beat him and robbed him of his savings.

In December 2006 she was sentenced to nine years behind bars after admitting robbery. But two top judges at the Court of Appeal decided the original punishment was "manifestly excessive" and slashed it to six years last week.

Andrew Cohen, representing Tucker, argued she had been under the influence of career criminal Alan Hough, 53, who was also convicted of the robbery.

"But for the malign influence of Hough, she would not have involved herself in an offence of this type to the level that she did," Cohen told the judges.

Tucker befriended Mr Sammutt, who had had a stroke and struggled with movement, in March 2006. Mr Sammutt took her into his home and tried to help her financially, only for her to help rob him.

The pensioner was asleep in his sheltered housing flat when Tucker opened the door to the three men, including Hough. He woke to find his hands and feet bound and the masked men on top of him.

He was beaten around the head with a piece of wood, before being forced to reveal the whereabouts of his cash.

After handing over £300, he told the men he had no more and was threatened with having his toe cut off if he did not reveal where more money was.

One man stayed with him as his flat was ransacked, but no more cash was found and the three men left with Tucker in tow.

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