An 83-year-old disabled woman on her way to church was mugged by a drug addict.
The victim was approached by Scott Murphy after she came out of a newsagent’s on Railway Road, Leigh, at 9.25am on Sunday January 16 this year, a court heard.
He asked for a cigarette and when she said she did not have one he walked off. She thought no more of it and crossed the road continuing on her way to church, said Ken Grant, prosecuting.
But then he came up behind her and began forcibly tugging at her handbag over her shoulder. “She was alarmed and turned round to see the defendant. Such was the force she was unable to hang onto her bag and he left the scene with it,” he said.
Shaken but uninjured, she made her way to the church and the police were called. When CCTV footage of the area was examined Murphy was spotted and his description circulated.
Later that day the same CCTV operator saw him on Bradshawgate. Police gave chase and eventually he was rugby-tackled to the ground by the officers and handcuffed.
When searched he was found to have his victim’s bus pass, bingo card and house keys on him.
When interviewed he denied robbing her and said he had found the items on the floor while out walking.
But the 22-year-old, of Bond Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to robbery.
Duncan Phillips, defending, said that Murphy had been using crack cocaine and heroin. “He recognises he has put himself in a position where only an immediate custodial sentence can follow.”
Jailing him for two and a half years the judge, Recorder David Eccles said that anyone being attacked in the street would find it a frightening experience but for a frail pensioner it must have been even more frightening.
He said: “Robbery is always a serious offence anyone being attacked in the street is always frighting but when the victim is old an frail like your victim it must of been more frighting. It was low, it was mean and it was cheap and, to use her words, it was disgusting.”