Two Men Jailed For Stealing Blind Busker's Change
Two men have been sent down for robbing a blind busker who plays on a street in North Wales.
Chris Chadwick-Parnell, who regularly plays on the streets of Bangor town centre, was targeted by the thieves. In what a judge described as an 'appalling case', Gary Williams and Alan Fothergill stole Chadwick-Parnell's change from his guitar case, that had been given to him by passers-by through the day.
In shocking footage, the pair can be seen approaching him while he was playing outside a W H Smith store.
Caernarfon Crown Court heard that they 'deliberately took advantage of a blind man', with Judge Huw Rees saying: "This is how low drugs have made you both stoop."
Fothergill, 43, took coins out of the case from right in front of the busker, before handing it over to Williams - who then, for some reason, put back £4 of the money, which was just a small amount compared to what they had stolen.
Williams, 51, denied stealing but was found guilty and sentenced to 30 months.
Fothergill admitted theft and was jailed for 26 months.
Judge Huw Rees said: "They took advantage of a blind man.
"Both of you lied in interview, the one blaming the other.
"Your previous convictions are truly appalling. You are both deliberate thieves."
In a victim statement, Mr Chadwick-Parnell said that he didn't feel able to continue busking after what had happened to him. This in turn has caused financial problems for the father-to-be, who used to make about £70 a day from singing in the street.
But, to restore your faith in humanity, a crowdfunder was started for him, making over £1,600 for the busker.
He explained how he was overwhelmed by well-wishers who had donated, saying: "The fact that so many people have come up to me and supported me is heartwarming and humbling.
"I thought I was just some guy, but it seems I've made an impression on people."
In a victim impact statement, Mr Chadwick-Parnell explained how it had worsened a condition he suffered with after being attacked as a child.
He said: "When I was 10 years old, I was stabbed. A lad walked up to me and asked if I was the blind one, and stabbed me in the chest and that's why I have PTSD.
"Sometimes, that can get in the way and something really minor will trigger it - even someone touching me, I don't like being touched by strangers."
He added: "I don't feel safe to work outside any more."
Featured Image Credit: Wales News Service
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