Prostitute cleared of robbery of grandad during meat cleaver attack
PROSTITUTE Candis Coopey shed tears of relief as she was found not guilty of robbery at Gloucester Crown Court yesterday.
After a three-day trial, the 22-year-old was cleared by jurors of her part in a vicious attack on disabled grandad Keith Boreland as he dropped her off in Stroud Road, Gloucester.
The court had heard Mr Boreland, 65, was on his way to visit his brother in Coney Hill when he saw Ms Coopey walking in Barton Street.
He picked her up and took her to his house but they did not have sex, he told the court.
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However, when he drove her at her request to Stroud Road later on January 27 this year, he was ambushed by two men, who have never been identified, one of whom held a meat cleaver to his neck and threatened to "gouge his eyes out". He had his wallet and watch stolen. Defence solicitor Claire Malvern described Ms Coopey as a woman who was desperate and sold her body to feed her drug addiction.
Ms Coopey admitted to having a cocaine and heroin addiction from the age of 17 and had decided to go back onto the streets to make some money, the court heard.
She went to Barton Street to work.
Denying the robbery, Ms Coopey, of Stroud Road, described how she had drunk a bottle of alcohol mixed with grapefruit juice from a plastic bottle and taken a drug passed to her by Mr Boreland that night.
She told the court Mr Boreland told her it was some of his prescribed medication. However, she told the court she thought she was given Rohypnol as she could not remember anything after getting into the car.
Ms Coopey described how she got into the car under the impression that she was going to "do business" with Mr Boreland.
The next thing she remembered was waking up naked in Mr Boreland's bed, she said.
The prosecution asked about her mobile phone records and about a reverse phone call made at 11.54pm on her phone and then 21 calls made to her phone that night, believed to be from one of the attackers. But she said she did not know who these calls were from.
Ms Coopey described how Mr Boreland said he was going to dump her at the top of Painswick Hill.
He pulled up at the Peel Centre in Gloucester and there was a struggle, she said, adding that she went to flee the car and Mr Boreland grabbed her handbag and the strap broke.
She said she could not remember anything about the two male robbers as she was "still out of it". She added: "I just wanted to get my bag and go home."
She left straight away and went to her friend's house in Stroud Road, she said.
Questions were asked by the defence of inconsistencies in what Mr Boreland said to police at the hospital where he was getting treatment for a serious injury to his finger sustained in trying to push the meat cleaver away from his neck, against what he said in court on Monday.
He denied in court having said to a police officer at the hospital it was two men that had stolen his watch and that it had been Ms Coopey who had in fact stolen it.
She denied knowing who the two men who carried out the robbery were and said that in her line of work she had met many people involved in crime.
Ms Coopey was found not guilty but, in an entirely separate case, has been on remand since last September following an incident in which she asked a man in Barton Street for his mobile phone to make a "life or death" phone call and then made off with the phone. She was found guilty of that theft by magistrates in her absence. Judge William Hart granted her bail and will sentence her at a date yet to be fixed.