Zoe Hickey (left), 29, and Imogen Mellor (right), 28, went on the run with their hamster
A lesbian couple have been jailed for a total of nearly three years after a businessman was beaten up and mugged for his wallet during a ‘revenge’ raid at his seaside massage parlour.
Zoe Hickey, 29, and her partner Imogen Mellor, 28, went on the run – like Thelma and Louise in the 1991 film – with their pet hamster after Kevin Garfoot was attacked with a rubber mallet and then kicked and punched about the head.
Just an hour earlier Mellor, who had been working and living at the parlour, was ordered to leave by Mr Garfoot after he found she had been secretly allowing former holiday camp worker Hickey to stay there in Blackpool, Lancashire.
She remonstrated with her boss as he sat at his desk doing paperwork then beat him to the floor with the mallet.
As he lay bleeding, the couple took £220 in cash before fleeing the scene with a hamster they kept that the flat. They were on the run for ten days before being arrested in the seaside resort.
At Preston Crown Court, Mellor was jailed for 21 months after she pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and theft, while Hickey was locked up for 12 months after pleading guilty to theft.
The court heard Mellor had been hired by Mr Garfoot to work at his massage parlour but he became ‘controlling’ and refused to let his employee’s partner stay over at the premise – saying it would ‘affect her work’ at the business.
Mellor (left) and Hickey went on the run with their pet hamster after Kevin Garfoot was attacked with a rubber mallet and then kicked and punched about the head
Mellor (left) was jailed for 21 months after she pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and theft, while Hickey (right) was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to theft
Mellor (right), who had been working and living at the parlour, was ordered to pack her bags after it was discovered she had been secretly allowing Hickey (left) to stay at the premises
David Trainer, prosecuting, said: ‘Mr Garfoot was the owner of the massage parlour and the services were advertised online. Imogen Mellor worked at the business and did not have her own accommodation and so was being allowed to stay over.
‘A rule he implemented was that her partner Zoe Hickey was not allowed to stay at the property.
‘But on July 31 last year Hickey was found to have been staying there and Mr Garfoot wasn’t happy about it so he went to speak to Imogen Mellor about the issue.
‘He told that her partner had to leave and Mellor wasn’t happy about it. She told him that if Zoe had to leave then she would leave to and he told her to pack her bags.
‘An hour later, Mellor went into Mr Garfoot’s office and told him he was being unreasonable.
‘He describes being struck to the head by Mellor with a rubber ended mallet which caused him to fall to the floor and there were further blows with kicks and punches from Mellor.
Mellor (pictured) remonstrated with her boss as he sat at his desk doing paperwork then beat him to the floor with a rubber mallet, Preston Crown Court heard
Mellor (left) and Hickey (right) were on the run for ten days before being arrested in the resort
‘Mr Garfoot saw an opportunity to get free but was grabbed again and Mellor placed him in a headlock.
‘Mr Garfoot has in the past had a Laryngectomy and has a disk in his throat and the disk became dislodged and his oxygen supply was blocked and he has suffered difficulty with his speech since the incident.
‘Following the attack both Mellor and Hickey were responsible for removing his wallet which contained £220 in cash. They also took with them a hamster but further enquiries revealed this belonged to the couple.
‘The incident was immediately reported to the police who found the complainant covered in blood with wounds to the front and side of his head. Mr Garfoot says the attack has affected his business and he now works from home.
‘He said he used to go out alone but now will not and has been left with psychological and mental scars from the incident. The couple were found and arrested on the 10th of August in Blackpool and have been in custody since.’
As Mr Garfoot lay bleeding and injured, the couple (Mellor, left; and Hickey, right) took £220 in cash before fleeing the scene with a hamster they kept that the flat
Hickey (left) was described as ‘an intelligent woman with things going for her’, while Mellor (right) was said to be ‘vulnerable in her own way’
Mellor (left) had no previous convictions for violence and Hickey (right) had no convictions for dishonesty, the judge said
Sharon Watson, defending Mellor, said: ‘Her behaviour that days was entirely out of character.
‘Mr Garfoot was clearly a victim but he was a person excreting control over Miss Mellor who was vulnerable in her own way and she was having to pay him £250 a week for the use of the premises.
‘He disapproved of Miss Mellor’s relationship because he believed it interfered with her ability to work from his premises and that when her partner was round, Miss Mellor would not work.
‘She obviously reacted very badly but he was controlling her and her relationship and things clearly got out of hand.
‘At the age of 16 she left the family home but she does present as a very articulate young woman.’
Hickey (right), who has already served five and a half months on remand, is expected to be freed in two weeks. Mellor (left) will serve ten months and will probably be out in October
The couple (pictured) got their victim ‘into a headlock which dislodged a disc in his throat and as a result his speech has been affected and at the time his oxygen supply was blocked’
Mitigating for Hickey, Katie Jones said: ‘She is an intelligent woman with things going for her. She wishes to apologise to the court but it is a difficult background to the case and she herself has a difficult background.’
Sentencing Judge Mark Brown told the couple: ‘Imogen Mellor, you were employed by Kevin Garfoot in a business that operated in Blackpool.
‘The precise nature of the premises is not clear but suffice to say you had nowhere to live and he allowed you to stay at the premises.
‘You were involved in a relationship with Zoe Hickey and she stayed with you as well. However, when Mr Garfoot discovered your partner was staying too he was unhappy about it and told her she had to leave.
‘There was something of a confrontation and you Imogen Mellor made it clear that if Zoe was to leave you would be going as well. The incident for which the court is concerned took place about an hour later.
Thelma & Louise was a 1991 film starring Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise that sees the two friends set out on a road trip before trying to escape from police for crimes
The film saw the friends trying to escape from police for a series of crimes they committed
‘The complainant was seated in his office doing work when you attacked with a rubber mallet. You struck him to the head and when he went to the ground he was struck further as well as being kicked and punched.
‘There was obviously a tussle between you and you got him into a headlock which dislodged a disc in his throat and as a result his speech has been affected and at the time his oxygen supply was blocked.
‘When it must have appeared that he was injured the pair of you then stole a wallet belonging to him and that contained £220 in cash.
‘You are both of a similar age and both have previous convictions but it is relevant that Imogen Mellor you have no previous convictions for violence and you Zoe Hickey have no convictions for dishonesty.’
Hickey, who has already served five and a half months on remand, is expected to be freed in two weeks. Mellor will serve ten months and will probably be out in October.
Thelma & Louise was a 1991 film starring Geena Davis as Thelma and Susan Sarandon as Louise that sees the two friends set out on a road trip before trying to escape from police for a series of crimes they have committed.