Heartless thugs stole phone as man lay dying
Two thugs who stole a dying man's mobile phone took away his means of calling for help, a senior prosecutor said after the pair were jailed.
Dale Walker and Scott Stephenson saw their 22-year-old victim fall and when they returned to him 30 minutes later, instead of calling for help, they took his iPhone.
He later died from hypothermia in a back lane in South Shields, South Tyneside, last December.
Officials at Newcastle Crown Court confirmed that Stephenson, 19, who admitted theft, was sentenced to two years at a young offenders' institute.
Walker, 25, was jailed for 10 months after admitting handling stolen goods.
After sentencing, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North East Gerry Wareham said: "For most people the natural reaction upon seeing someone fall would be to go to their aid.
"Instead, this pair chose to exploit the vulnerability of an unconscious man for material gain.
"While the phone taken may have had some small value to them, it may have proved invaluable to their victim in calling for aid.
"I hope that this sentence brings a measure of comfort to their victim's family at what must be a difficult time for them."
Stephenson was caught on camera at a previous hearing at magistrates' court giving a one-fingered gesture to a photographer.