Man cleared of allegation he helped rob a terminally ill man - but two others face sentence

A man accused of conspiring to rob a brain tumour patient has been found not guilty by a jury.

Monday, 11th December 2017, 12:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:35 am
Crown Court

Vulnerable victim Christopher Caesar, 36, who was undergoing chemotherapy to try and halt the inoperable tumour, died just six months after the vicious robbery in his own home.

He suffered a bleed on his brain during the attack which was too close to the cancer for doctors to operate, Preston Crown Court heard, but his death was deemed to be natural causes.

Adam Shuttleworth, 21, of Lonsdale Road, Blackpool, had denied conspiring with two men to carry out the raid at Mr Caesar's flat on Withnell Road on October 15, 2016, and was cleared after a trial at Preston Crown Court.

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Jonathan Johnstone, 22, of Bowland Crescent, Grange Park, Blackpool, and Dale Docherty, 22, of Dinmore Place, Blackpool, who have already admitted the robbery, are expected to be sentenced on Thursday.

Mr Caesar, who was diagnosed in 2009, was threatened with a screwdriver, struck with a claw hammer, and was knocked out when one of the men punched him.

His friend James Innocent, 23, who was staying at his flat, was also threatened and hit during the 30 minute ordeal, the court was told, and alleges when he told the attackers about his friend's brain tumour they "laughed".

Medics found a brain haemorrhage and swelling had caused Mr Caesar to lose mobility in his arm and leg, and also found broken bones in his nose and cheeks.

During the case prosecutor, Bob Golinski said: "We do not say the robbery caused his death.

"However, we do say that robbery meant the end of his life was not what it otherwise would have been."