Help win justice for Vera

Veronica Heyes, known as Vera, after she was robbed by Lynette Oakey
Veronica Heyes, known as Vera, after she was robbed by Lynette Oakey

POLICE are appealing for the public’s help to find a drug-addled Wigan robber who viciously attacked a frail pensioner outside a health centre.

Lynnette Oakey, 34, who faces jail for the sickening robbery, failed to turn up at her sentencing at Preston Crown Court for a FOURTH time.

Lynnette Oakey

Lynnette Oakey

Officers are now asking for help to bring her to justice for the sake of her victim, 80-year-old Vera Heyes, who is becoming increasingly distressed by the situation.

The great grandmother said: “She needs to be put away. She can’t be on the streets doing this to people. It’s happening too often to the elderly. An animal wouldn’t do this.”

As the pensioner walked to her blood test at Geoffrey Street Health Centre on September 4 last year, Oakey pounced on her and snatched her walking stick to make her lose her balance.

Moments earlier, Oakey, 34, of City Road, Kitt Green, loitering at the gates, had pestered the pensioner for a cigarette twice even though she told her she didn’t smoke.

My face looked so bad I didn’t want my grandchildren seeing me

Vera Hayes

Mrs Heyes, who hit her head, face and wrist as she fell, screamed for help as Oakey yanked her handbag strap over her head and fled, leaving her on the floor.

Mrs Heyes, who hails from Wigan, but now lives in Preston, needed a brain scan after her terrifying ordeal.

Det Insp Jane Webb of Preston CID, said: “This was a vicious attack on a vulnerable elderly lady which has had a devastating effect on her. Oakey has now evaded justice on a number of occasions. Anyone who knows where she is urged to call police on 101.”

The distraught widow, who has more than 30 grandchildren and great grandchildren, said: “I was a mess, my face was black, my wrist was severely swollen and there were bruises everywhere.

“My face looked so bad I didn’t want my grandchildren seeing me.

“I didn’t go out for three weeks because I was so scared. I’m a tough nut - I’m a Wigan girl - but this knocked me for six. I have to sleep with the light on, which I’ve never ever done in my life.”

She said: “Her eyes frightened me. She was like a wild thing. I felt she was on drugs because her pupils were so big. She looked possessed.

“It was absolutely horrible. I was in a bad way, I was shaking.

“I was a prime target. I was helpless without my crutch. She would have known that - but she knocked it out of my hand and knocked me to the floor. She didn’t say anything, but my bag had been securely strapped to my front so she had to knock me over to pull it over my head.

Oakey, an amateur photographer who attended Crufts earlier this year, admitted robbery, but has since failed to appear in court to hear her fate.