A PENSIONER feared he would be murdered during a ‘vicious and sustained’ robbery – for the sake of £100.

Giving evidence during this week’s trial of Ben Derek Shields, of whom he accuses of being the main aggressor in the robbery of August 8, 2018, David Brooks relived the ordeal which involved him being threatened with a screwdriver and being punched multiple times, causing five broken ribs and numerous facial injuries.

At Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday, Mr Brooks claimed three people entered his upstairs flat in Mickley just after 2am looking for money. It is alleged Shields then rained numerous blows on Mr Brooks until he handed over his wallet which contained £60 and 1,900 Thai baht, the equivalent of £43.

A money tin in the property had Shields’ fingerprints on it, making him the main suspect in the robbery. Shields (30), of Bewick Lane, Ovingham, denies the charge.

Mr Brooks said: “I threw myself off the sofa and he got a hold of me, and started hitting me and asking where the money was. I told him there was no money.

“Each time he asked where the money was, and each time I replied there was none, he punched me.

“Then he picked up a screwdriver off the computer table and held it to my cheek, and threatened to stab me. I told him to do it because I couldn’t be bothered any more, actually.

“It wasn’t until I realised that he wasn’t going to stop and that he was going to carry on until he killed me that I gave him the wallet.”

Mr Brooks said he managed to escape outside but was then pushed back indoors, and one of two other males at the scene covered his face to prevent him identifying the assailants.

Prosecuting, Jessica Slaughter said that even if Shields hadn’t been the man who assaulted Mr Brooks, she believed he was present during the robbery and he and the two other males, who had not yet been traced, were jointly guilty of committing the crime.

Liam O’Brien, defending, said there was no disputing Mr Brooks had been the victim of a ‘vicious and sustained’ assault, but said Shields was not linked to the crime.

Mr O’Brien said that Mr Brooks’ son Andrew, who also gave evidence on Wednesday, was a suspected drug dealer and he believed the robbery occurred because people were trying to retrieve drug money owed by the son.

He went on to say that Northumbria Police had 14 information reports which suggested Andrew Brooks was involved in supplying drugs across Northumberland.

The solicitor said the son had used his father’s Mickley property to deal drugs from in the past, and was arrested in 2008 for cultivating cannabis plants from a room in the flat.

Mr O’Brien said it was not uncommon for people to visit Mr Brooks’ house to buy or dabble in drugs. He told the court that Shields had met Andrew Brooks a matter of weeks before the incident to buy drugs from him, and that was when his fingerprints got on the tin. Andrew Brooks denied the claims.

The trial continues.