A COUPLE who robbed a disabled man in his own home after one of them befriended him have had their sentences increased.

Kirsty Norris, 32, and David Mercer, 25, were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, in October last year, after being found guilty of robbery and five counts of fraud.

But following the Solicitor General’s intervention, the Court of Appeal increased their sentences to three years’ immediate imprisonment.

They were required to hand themselves into police by 6pm on Thursday, but failed to do so, Sussex Police said.

Commenting on the increase, the Solicitor General said: “This was a brutal, targeted attack against a vulnerable individual, who had already suffered abuse for his disabilities.

“The victim was betrayed and attacked and suffers psychological trauma as a result.

“It is only right that the Court of Appeal has agreed to increase the sentences to reflect this long-lasting harm.”

Planned attack

Norris first met the 57-year-old victim 18 months before the planned attack, the Attorney General’s Office said.

The victim believed that Norris was his friend, and showed her kindness by providing her with food and company.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said: “The victim is a vulnerable person, who is disabled and suffers from serious medical conditions.

“The authorities had moved him to a new address after he became the target of attacks in his original home town.”

On the morning of October 16, 2018, the victim saw Norris and invited her to his flat for a meal, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Inside the victim’s home, Norris phoned her boyfriend, signalling the pre-planned attack.

Mercer then came to the victim’s door, claiming to be from the council. When the victim refused to let him in, Mercer punched him multiple times in the face and neck, the Attorney General’s Office said.

He then stole his Christmas savings and bank card before fleeing.

“Throughout the attack, Norris feigned surprise and pretended to help the victim but he soon realised that he had been betrayed,” said an Attorney General’s Office spokesman.

“Norris then left the victim’s flat to find her boyfriend.


“Once reunited, the offenders immediately made several purchases which were captured on CCTV footage.”

Morris and Mercer were arrested at their home nine days after the brutal attack, the Attorney General’s Office confirmed.