A woman who helped her serial crook friend escape from court and spend a day on the run said she only opened the dock door to let him out for a kiss.
Lee O & # 39; Neill decided to run away when he was told he was again facing prison for violating a community order.
The 38-year-old asked repeatedly if he could go to the bathroom before asking an usher to take his partner to court.
But when Helen Robinson, 45, walked in, O & # 39; Neill asked her to open the dock door, which she did, and the couple fled.
The usher yelled "no" before the professional criminal pushed past him and tripped him and nearly fell to the ground, the Liverpool Echo reported.
Robinson asked if her boyfriend had been sent down and when he found out he had, he called back, "I'm glad I let him out."
Serial crook Lee O & # 39; Neill (left) ran away after his girlfriend Helen Robinson (right) opened the door of the court dock where he was held after being told he was back for violating a community order stand in prison
The couple fled Warrington Magistrates' Court around 11:30 a.m. on August 13 that year and spent a little over a day at large.
Police found her hiding in another woman's house in Warrington at 8:20 p.m. on August 14, from whom O & # 39; Neill was banished.
A pause followed for 20 minutes when O & # 39; Neill and the two women refused to open the door or obey the officers' instructions.
O & # 39; Neill was jailed for 10 months after admitting escape from legal custody, joint assault and violation of a restraining order.
Folly Lane crook in Bewsey, Warrington has 39 previous convictions for 101 offenses, including assaulting a pensioner.
Robinson of Ripley Street in Warrington declined to aid her friend's escape and was due on trial next May.
She sobbed and groaned as she appeared in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court after changing her plea to guilty.
Frances Willmott, prosecutor, said O & # 39; Neill was alone in the dock after the judges stood up to ponder their sentence.
Robinson admitted the offense, but only on the basis that she didn't know that if she opened the door, he would escape.
Judge Thomas Teague, QC, questioned whether this was actually a denial of the offense.
Gerald Baxter, who defended himself, said O & # 39; Neill asked her for a kiss and when she opened the door it was an escape in itself, but she didn't know he was going to run out of the building.
He said she was "very much under the influence of O'Neill and your honor will have seen history of domestic abuse and so on".
Mr. Baxter added, "When he said," Open the door, let me out, I want a kiss, "she did."
38-year-old O & # 39; Neill repeatedly asked if he could go to the bathroom before asking an usher to take his partner to court. But when Helen Robinson, 45, walked in, O & # 39; Neill asked her to open the dock door, which she did, and the couple fled
The court heard Robinson had no intention of going to court and was only briefed about O & # 39; Neill's hearing by a friend.
Mr Baxter said she was outside the building in a park when the usher called her to court at O & # 39; Neill's request.
He said that because of the nature of the couple's relationship, Robinson was "almost certain" of doing what he asked for.
Judge Teague accepted a reformulated basis of the plea, stating that Robinson knew O & # 39; Neill would escape the dock but not the court.
Mr Baxter said Robinson – who kept interrupting him throughout the hearing – had "bad records" and "their fair share of problems in life but started with a lot of promises".
Mr Baxter said she gained qualifications but went "downhill" thanks to alcohol and drugs, which resulted in social services intervening regarding her children.
He said she had now teamed up well with probation service for a rehabilitation course under the requirements of a previous community order and was motivated to change after making improvements in O & # 39; Neill's absence.
Warrington Magistrates & # 39; Court, Cheshire, where O & # 39; Neill fled the dock after learning that he could spend more time behind bars
The attorney said she had been in custody since Sept. 26 for bail violation, which means she served two months – the equivalent of a four-month prison sentence – in custody.
Judge Teague said to Robinson, “You must have been under O & # 39; Neill's thumb at the time.
"He took the opportunity to get out of the building and you two ran away."
The judge said "sadly" that Robinson, formerly Folly Lane, Bewsey had numerous convictions for dishonesty and violating court orders.
He added, "I say 'sad' because it could have been so different – you are a woman with a lot of potential."
Judge Teague said in a preliminary report: "It is clear that your response has improved lately – no doubt because you have been disconnected from the influence of Mr. O'Neill."
He said Robinson's guilt was significantly less than O & # 39; Neill's and sentenced her to three months in prison. He added, "According to my calculations, this should mean you will be released immediately."
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