A ROBBER who bound his toy collector victim then stole his £13,000 cruise fund has received a 15 year sentence.

Richard Hunt, 38, was on post-sentence supervision when he carried out what a Swindon judge this morning labelled a “pre-meditated and cruel” robbery on his male victim, who suffers from a brain condition.

READ MORE: Everything said by the judge as robber jailed for 10 years

The career thief, who committed his first robbery in 2002, tricked the man with the promise of toy models then struck him with a chair, rained down blows, bound his hands and placed a pillowcase over his head.

After handing himself in, Hunt told detectives he didn’t think his violence was excessive as he “didn’t shoot or stab” his victim.

Jailing him for 10 years at Swindon Crown Court this morning and ordering he serve an extended five years on licence, Judge Jason Taylor QC told Hunt: “It’s notable from the pre-sentence report you show no remorse, empathy or any reservations about doing what you need or want to do irrespective of the consequences for others.

“I cannot ignore that when I consider public safety. It might be, as you put it, water off a duck’s back to you – it isn’t to the court.”

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Richard Hunt's custody image Picture: WILTSHIRE POLICE

The trap

Hunt found his victim, a vulnerable man living in Sadler Walk, Walcot, on Facebook.

The man, who suffers from a brain condition, collects models and purchased an item from Hunt via the social media network.

Prosecutor Chloe Griggs told the court: “Mr Hunt then contacted the victim to show him other items that he had for sale and he paid £300 for those items but he never received the goods.”

Hunt got back in touch and said he had other things to sell but he would need the cash up-front.

The victim agreed and arranged for Hunt to come to his home. On January 12, Hunt arrived at the Walcot property and, while there, went into the man’s bedroom, which contained his collection of model toys. Also in the bedroom was a safe, hidden beneath clothing. Hunt asked the man if he lived alone.

The following day he was back, carrying a black bag that he placed on the living room table and invited the man to look inside.

As the victim opened the bag, Hunt struck him in in the back of the head with a chair. He fell to the floor and Hunt put a pillowcase over his head then kicked and punched him as he lay on the ground.

Ms Griggs said: “Mr Hunt threatened to stab him and kill him if he tried to escape and he placed him face down on the floor with his knee on his back and proceeded to tie his wrists together.”

The victim could hear other men moving around upstairs. His attacker joined them.

They left the safe open at the top of the stairs, having stolen £13,000 in cash, his mother’s wedding ring, other jewellery and war medals that belonged to his grandfather.

Hunt handed himself in and admitted what he’d done to police. He said the black bag had been empty. He denied taking any medals or the jewellery but said he’d stolen the money. “He said that he felt his crime was bad [but] that the violence was not excessive because he didn’t shoot or stab the victim,” Ms Griggs said.

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Sadler Walk, Walcot Picture: GOOGLE

Impact on victim

In a victim personal statement summarised to the court by Ms Griggs, the man said he’d saved the £13,000 over many years to fulfil a life-long dream of going on a cruise.

“He says this offence has deprived him of that dream but also of his quality of life because he was also going to use that money to purchase a mobility scooter to enable him to get out of the house,” the prosecutor said.

“He is extremely worried about the fact that he believes there was another at least one other person involved because whilst he was being assaulted by Mr Hunt he could hear noises upstairs.

“Because Mr Hunt, in his police interview, refused to confirm that, he believes those other persons are still at large and he finds the prospect of them returning extremely frightening.”

Hunt admitted to the probation officer who prepared a pre-sentence report that he’d acted with another. That accomplice had Hunt’s share of the £13,000, which had been stashed away for when he came out of prison.

Previous convictions

Hunt had a total of 17 convictions for 43 offences. He went down for his first robbery in 2002, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2009 for getting into a lone woman’s car and demanding at knifepoint that she drive to a cash machine, then received a three year sentence in 2017 for mugging a woman at a cashpoint.

Also on his record were two house burglaries and five convictions for non-dwelling burglary.

At the time of the January robbery, he was on post-sentence supervision having been given 16 weeks’ imprisonment for getting into a woman’s car and demanding money. The offence was charged under the Public Order Act.

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Swindon Crown Court, where Hunt was sentenced this morning Picture: ADVER


Hunt, formerly of Station Road, Swindon, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a single count of robbery. He appeared in court on Thursday morning via video link from HMP Bristol.

Emma Handslip, mitigating, said her client had been thrown out of the family home at the age of 11 and had quickly developed a drug addiction. Having experienced difficulties from a very early age, he lacked the ability to show emotion.

Despite what was written in the pre-sentence report, he knew what he did was wrong but he lacked the capacity to show the “level of emotion a report writer would want”, his advocate said.

He had been doing well last year. But his grandmother died before Christmas and he was asked to leave the family home.

Homeless, he turned back to drugs. Having acquired thousands of pounds in the robbery, he told his lawyers that if he hadn’t handed himself in he’d be dead.

Since being on remand, Hunt had obtained enhanced prisoner status. He had completed A-levels in maths and English and was receiving a prescription for a substitute to class A drugs.


Imposing an extended sentence, Judge Taylor said: “In my judgement you do pose a significant risk of serious harm [of committing] future specified offences, that harm being both physical and psychological.

“I reach that conclusion based not only on the current offence but the fact you were unable to control yourself despite being on post-sentence supervision and your unenviable and worrying track record of targeting those you perceive to be more vulnerable than yourself.”