A COUPLE who lay in wait to pounce on vulnerable victims at Bradford cash points in daylight have been spared prison sentences.

Drug addicts Steven Toye and Laura Butterfield snatched more than £400 from an elderly man and two middle aged women they preyed on because they were alone and easy targets, Bradford Crown Court heard.

The pair struck at three separate cash points on consecutive days in May and none of the money has been recovered, prosecutor Martin Robertshaw said today.

Toye, 33, of Round Street, West Bowling, Bradford, and Butterfield, a 27-year-old mother-of-two, of Langlands Road, Bingley, were originally charged with robbery.

The Crown later accepted their guilty pleas to the less serious offence of theft from the person.

Mr Robertshaw said they were caught after committing their third offence on May 8 when Butterfield grabbed £220 from the hand of a 42-year-old woman at the cash point at the Nat West Bank in Fair Road, Wibsey.

The victim drove to the machine at midday and became aware that someone was close behind her.

She chased after Butterfield and the money was dropped to the ground. Butterfield retrieved it, helped by Toye, and both fled the scene.

The pair asked the court to take into consideration two similar offences, on May 6 and 7, when they snatched £100 each from a 72-year-old man and a woman in her 40s.

This time they struck at cash points in Great Horton Road, Bradford, and at Tesco in Halifax Road, Buttershaw.

The court heard the couple were in a relationship at the time but that was now over.

They both abused heroin and crack cocaine and had led a chaotic lifestyle.

Butterfield had no previous convictions.

Each was sentenced to a six month community order with supervision and a drug rehabilitation requirement.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, told them to return to the court monthly so he could personally review their progress on the order.