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Thieves pickpocket woman while she was having seizure outside her office

A woman was pickpocketed by thieves while she lay on the ground having a seizure.

Leonora Royce, 39, was walking out of her office on Nicholas Street in the city centre at 1 am on March 21 when the sudden attack of illness began.

After they spotted her struggling, Noel Steadman and an unidentified accomplice ran over and dragged her into an alley to carry out the theft.

They rifled through her pockets, stealing her iphone 6 Plus and her car keys.

They then opened her Kia Sorento, which was parked nearby, to see if there was anything else they could take.

The pair fled when they were were disturbed when an ambulance arrived and someone approached.

Steadman, 46, a homeless drug addict, was later identified on CCTV stealing the woman’s phone after an investigation.

He was jailed for 22 months at Manchester Crown Court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to theft.

He was also given a four month prison sentence for vehicle interference. The two sentences will run concurrently.

Mrs Royce, a finance director, said she had no recollection of the incident until she came round and was being helped by police officers.

Her husband Jordan Royce she’d been ‘robbed blind’ by thieves who ‘went after her like piranhas’.

He said his wife said she’d been “humbled” by the cards, flowers and messages of support she’d received.

Chief Inspector Cherie Buttle, of Great Manchester Police, said Steadman’s actions were despicable.

She added: ‘This has been a painstaking investigation for the team, and they kept the victim at the heart of everything they did in their pursuit of justice.

‘I know the fact that Steadman will be unable to offend in Manchester City Centre for the foreseeable future has brought her great comfort and reassurance. I would like to thank her and pay tribute for the incredible courage she showed in coming forward to support the investigation.’

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