A WOMAN has been convicted of assisting a cash snatch street robber by dropping him off prior to the crime and then acting as his getaway driver.

Marie Timney was said to have tipped off Gary Hill, her daughter’s partner, after seeing a social club employee withdraw £500 float at a post office shortly before the cash bag was forcibly snatched from her as she made her way back to the premises.

Timney was seen dropping off Hill, who was desperate for cash to pay for a drug fix for him and his partner, in St Mary’s Court, Horden, from where he followed the club cleaner, making her way back to Horden Comrades Club with the float, at 11.30am on Saturday February 16.

He waylaid the woman, grabbing the cash bag from her, in Third Street, before fleeing on foot and being picked up around a corner near a Chinese takeaway restaurant, where Timney was waiting in her silver Jeep vehicle.

Hill, of AJ Cook Terrace, Shotton Colliery, admitted robbery and theft of chocolate bars from a Co-op store in Easington Village, also on February 16.

At the same hearing, at Durham Crown Court, in March, Timney denied the robbery, claiming she was an “innocent stooge”, unaware of Hill’s intentions.

She claimed she was merely assisting her daughter’s partner by giving him a lift that day, not knowing about the robbery.

The 54-year-old defendant, of Plantation Avenue, Littletown, near Durham, maintained that account at trial this week, but after a two-day hearing the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

Following the verdict, prosecuting counsel Shaun Dodds revealed to the jury that the conviction put her in breach of a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, imposed at the court last September for five counts of attempting to take a prohibited item, a mix of illicit drugs, into Low Newton Women’s Prison, where her daughter was a serving inmate, in September 2017.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said due to the suspended sentence breach, “my options at sentence will be fairly limited.”

But he agreed to adjourn for preparation of a Probation Service report on Timney prior to sentence.

He bailed her to return to court on September 2 when both she and co-accused Hill will be sentenced.