Two men have been jailed for stealing from the guitar case of a blind busker in north Wales, in what the judge called “an appalling case”.
Chris Chadwick-Parnell was playing outside WH Smith in Bangor when it happened. A video taken by a passerby was seen by 10,000 people online.
Gary Williams, 51, denied stealing from the 23-year-old but was found guilty and sentenced to 30 months in jail.
Alan Fothergill, 43, admitted theft and was jailed for 26 months.
“This is how low drugs have made you both stoop,” said Judge Huw Rees sentencing the pair at Caernarfon Crown Court.
Mr Chadwick-Parnell had been playing on 26 June, his guide dog at his side, when the cash was taken from his guitar case by Big Issue seller Fothergill, of Bangor.
He handed the cash to Williams, who is also from Bangor, and he put back £4 – a fraction of the amount taken – into the case.
Mr Chadwick-Parnell’s usual daily takings were about £70 and the judge told the two men they had targeted a highly vulnerable victim because he was disabled.
In a statement, Mr Chadwick-Parnell said he could not busk anymore because of what happened, which had caused financial problems for the expectant father.
Judge Rees told the two men they had both lied in interview, the one blaming the other, and added: “Your previous convictions are truly appalling. You are both deliberate thieves.”