Thug jailed for robbing his aunt

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A WIGAN man has been caged for violently mugging his own elderly aunt in the street.

Lee Hamill grabbed the pensioner from behind as she walked towards her Beech Hill home, manhandled her to the ground then tried to grab her handbag.

Jailing the 29-year-old for four and a half years, the judge, Recorder Jeremy Lasker, said: “You were surprised to find out it was a relative but that did not stop you continuing your tussle with her trying to steal items from her.

“Even if it is right that you did not intend to target your own aunt I have no doubt you picked a lone elderly lady simply because she was a vulnerable and easy target.”

Hamill, a paranoid schizophrenic of Avondale Street, Standish, denied robbery but was convicted by a jury after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

The court heard that the victim, 74-year-old Margaret Brown, was walking home along Gidlow Lane about 6.15pm on November 11 last year after a day shopping in Preston.

After being attacked she bravely hung onto her handbag but Hamill made off with her shopping bag. The victim, who suffered injuries to her hand, right hip and thigh, was left deeply distressed. She had recognised her nephew and he was later arrested.

Hamill, whose previous convictions include violence, claimed that the victim was lying as were the witnesses who were her friends. Recorder Lasker said that a psychiatric report showed Hamill is a paranoid schizophrenic with behavioural problems primarily caused by his use of drugs.

“You are described as ‘aggressive behaviour, poor temper control and inadequate problem solving skills. No awareness of consequences of your behaviour upon anyone apart from yourself and no insight into other people’s views’.”

He warned that unless he changes his attitude and continues to take drugs he is probably likely to commit further violent offences.

Steven Swift, defending, said that Hamill, who still denies the offence, understood the need to stablise his life in terms of ridding himself of drugs.