A MOTHER spotted an opportunity for her daughter’s drug-addicted partner, who was “rattling” for a fix, a court heard.

Marie Timney saw a woman at a post office in Horden withdrawing £500 cash as float for a nearby club.

Timney tipped off her daughter’s partner, Gary Hill, who followed and waylaid the woman, a cleaner at Horden Comrades Club.

Durham Crown Court heard that although she struggled, the carrier containing the cash bag split.

Hill picked up the bag and fled, being picked up by Timney in her car at a pre-arranged rendezvous point.

Shaun Dodds, mitigating, said the victim was badly shaken by the ordeal, on Saturday February 16, at 11am.

Hill, 38, of AJ Cook Terrace, Shotton Colliery, admitted robbery, but Timney, 54, of Plantation Avenue, Littletown, near Durham, denied the charge, claiming she dropped off Hill at an address to buy drugs.

But she was found guilty by a unanimous jury verdict at trial last month.

The conviction put Timney in breach of a 24-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, imposed at the court last November for attempting to smuggle drugs into Low Newton Women’s Prison, Durham, for her daughter, in September, 2017.

Jonathan Piggford, for Hill, said on his release from his previous prison sentence, in January, he was still abusing drugs, but since his admission on remand for the latest offence, he has managed to wean himself off drugs and his methadone substitute.

“This is a positive step, given that for a large part of his life he has been blighted by a drug addiction.”

Richard Herrmann, for Timney, said she was not there when the robbery took place, but Judge Jonathan Caroll said she knew, “full well”, what was happening.

Imposing a 22-and-a-half month prison sentence on Hill, and a 30-month sentence on Timney, half activated from her suspended sentence, the judge told her: “You spotted an opportunity and communicated it to Gary Hill, and within minutes formulated a plan to rob that woman of that cash.”