A pair of drug addicts tried car-jacking two women in 15 minutes in Solihull but failed. During the second incident Patrick Tierney punched the victim in the face, dragged her to the ground and threatened her dad with a hammer while accomplice Kerry Fanning simply sat in the passenger seat and watched.
In separate incidents he committed alone Tierney robbed wine and cigarettes from a shop and tried to steal a car for '60 quid' before telling the owner 'sorry'. All incidents took place in 2021 and Birmingham Crown Court heard both he and Fanning had since turned their lives around.
Tierney, aged 25, of Regent Road, Handsworth, admitted robbery, two counts of attempted robbery, attempted theft of a car, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and making threats with an offensive weapon. On Tuesday, November 7 he was sentenced to six years and six months.
Fanning, of Taunton Road, Moseley pleaded guilty to the two counts of attempted robbery. The 33-year-old mother-of-two had hoped to avoid immediate imprisonment and broke down in tears as she was jailed for two years and three months.
Tierney was acting alone at 1.50pm on June 15, 2021 when he robbed a Co-op store in Coventry of wine and cigarettes. Prosecutor Lal Amarasinghe said he was 'abusive' to staff and told them he was not paying.
The first car-jacking took place around 8pm the same day at The Green in Meriden, Solihull when Tierney, now joined by Fanning, targeted a Renault Clio as the female owner returned to it. Mr Amarasinghe said: "Before she could drive away Mr Tierney opened the driver's side door and reached across her to undo her seatbelt. As he did so he repeatedly shouted 'out, out, out'.
"He grabbed hold of her arm and forcibly tried to pull her out of the vehicle. Courageously the complainant stood her ground and latched on to the steering wheel and screamed at the defendant.
"He released his grip and slammed the car door shut. Whilst this was happening Kerry Fanning positioned herself on the other side of the vehicle at the passenger's side door while Mr Tierney took the lead."
The victim managed to take a photograph of the pair before driving away. But 15 minutes later they struck again targeting another woman who was sat in her Peugeot 107 at the back of her home in Solihull. Mr Amarasinghe said: "Mr Tierney headed to the driver's side door and punched the complainant to the face.
"Meanwhile Ms Fanning got into the passenger side of the vehicle while Mr Tierney dragged the driver to the floor. The commotion was heard by the complainant's father. He left the garden and tried to intervene and take the car keys from the ignition.
"He was put in a headlock by Mr Tierney before being punched several times to the head and torso. As he was being assaulted Mr Tierney then produces a hammer, threatens him and shouts 'I've got a hammer, I've got a hammer'. At this point both victims fled into the garden and left the defendants to it. The vehicle couldn't be started and so eventually both got out of the car and walked away."
In a victim impact statement the dad said the incident 'shook' his belief that people were generally 'good and honest'. While the owner of the Renault said her attack changed her life, forced her to move home and impacted her job as a teaching assistant for children with special educational needs.
Tierney had been involved in a similar incident earlier in the month. Around 9.30pm on June 1 he smashed the window of a BMW which he tried to steal from The Green in Meriden while the owner was inside Budgens shop. Mr Amarasinghe said: "He got into the vehicle and tried to start it but couldn't work out how to start it therefore he got out. As the complainant left the store he saw Mr Tierney and began to report the incident on his phone.
"The complainant recalled Mr Tierney saying 'All I needed was sixty quid. Sixty f***ing quid. Look mate I'm sorry about your car. I don't know what I'm doing'. Members of Mr Tierney's family were there in the location in the aftermath and they provided information to his identity."
Tierney has previous convictions for robberies, assault, burglary and inflicting grievous bodily harm. Simon Hanns, defending, said he had 'changed his life considerably' in recent months adding: "The greatest shame of all is that he has done that when he knows he's inevitably going to custody today."
Recorder Tim Green concluded Tierney was not currently 'dangerous' which would have warranted an extended sentence. He said: "At your age there is a pattern of serious offending which is escalating. I am just about persuaded you may be at the point in your life where the dangerous behaviour you demonstrated in June 2021 has become a part of your history."
Kerendeep Garcha, defending Fanning, stated she was 'deeply sorry' for her actions but had since turned her life around, which now included doing charity work. She said: "The truth is she appears in court today a different woman from who she was two years ago.
"At the time of the offences her lifestyle was chaotic. She was a heavy user of crack cocaine and occasional user of heroin. She lived in supported accommodation having left a toxic and abusive relationship with someone who also supplied her with drugs."
She argued for a suspended sentence but Recorder Green stated her offences were 'simply too serious' to reduce to the two-year threshold for which it could have been suspended. Fanning held her hands out and became visibly upset at the outcome.