Two thieves stole from DPD delivery driver before he died
Two thieves who stole DPD delivery driver’s mobile phone and wallet from him before he died of a heart attack at scene of crime are jailed
- Joseph Henry Niles, 41, and Gary Peter Hepworth, 43, were charged with theft
- The pair were cleared of a manslaughter charge after a review of the evidence
Two men have been jailed after they stole from a DPD delivery driver who had a heart attack and died at the scene.
Police and paramedics rushed to Handley Street in Horden, County Durham to attend to Andrew James Coyles, but the father-of-three could not be saved.
Joseph Henry Niles, 41, and Gary Peter Hepworth, 43, stole a mobile phone and a wallet belonging to Mr Coyles, and assaulted an attending paramedic.
The two thugs were were charged with manslaughter over the tragedy that occurred on Sunday, March 19 this year.
However the duo were this week cleared of causing Andrew James Coyles’ death and instead convicted of theft alone after the prosecution offered no evidence.
Police and paramedics rushed to the scene where DPD delivery driver Andrew James Coyles had a heart attack, but the father-of-three could not be saved
Police launched an investigation and 41-year-old Niles, of no fixed abode, and 43-year-old Hepworth, of Greenside Avenue, Peterlee, were both charged with Mr Coyles’ manslaughter.
When they appeared at a plea hearing Durham Crown Court on Wednesday April 19 they denied the manslaughter charge.
They also denied a separate count of theft of a mobile phone and a wallet belonging to Mr Coyles.
Hepworth faced a further charge of assaulting an emergency worker as he was being detained which he also denied.
A trial was due to begin at Teesside Crown Court on Wednesday but prosecution counsel Paul Abrahams said that following a review of the evidence, the Crown had decided not to pursue the manslaughter charge.
Recorder Peter Reid formally recorded a ‘not guilty’ verdict.
He said that while they were not considered legally responsible for Mr Coyles’ death, they, ‘undoubtedly’ bore a ‘moral’ responsibility.
Both defendants changed their pleas and each admitted the theft charge.
The two thugs were were charged with manslaughter over the tragedy that occurred on Handley Street in Horden, County Durham on Sunday, March 19 this year
Hepworth also admitted the count relating to the assault of an emergency worker.
Recorder Reid imposed six-month prison sentences on both men for the theft, but added a further two months to Hepworth’s sentence for the assault on the emergency worker.
In a tribute released via Durham Police, in the days following Mr Handley’s death, his three children, Katie, Rebecca and James, said: ‘There will never be the words to describe the way we feel.
‘Nothing ever prepares you for this hurt and pain.
‘Our hearts are broken. We love you so very much and will continue to make you
proud each and every day, they way you always told us.
‘It’s only: “See you later, dad”. It’s not: “goodbye”.’
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