Wigan mugger left OAP sitting in the cold and wet

Bolton Crown Court
Bolton Crown Court

A recovering drug addict who dumped a pensioner on a cold and wet pavement in Wigan while snatching her handbag has escaped an immediate jail sentence.

Daniel Hart, 39, pounced on Christine Seddon after she stopped for a rest while shopping on Coopers Row, Bolton Crown Court was told.

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The 67-year-old woman felt someone take hold of her bag from behind but she fought back, the court heard.

But then, with a “big yank”, Hart managed to wrestle it from her grasp, leaving her dumped on the ground.

Hart, of Poolstock Lane, Wigan, admitted to an offence of robbery, which took place at around 9am on April 2.

But Judge Timothy Clayson, Recorder of Bolton, ruled that it was in the public interest to help him battle his drug problems.

The judge imposed a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a nine-month drug treatment and testing order.

Hart must also observe a curfew until August 31 and complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity days with the probation service.

Defence counsel Mark Ferguson told the court that his client’s last criminal offence dated back to 2008, which had coincided with Hart remaining drug-free.

Mr Ferguson said the defendant had been taken off his methadone prescription after missing a couple of appointments and had slipped back into drug usage.

“It was a spur of the moment offence and completely out of character,” added Mr Ferguson, who stressed that Hart’s past offending had usually involved shoplifting.

Earlier prosecutor David Lees said that Hart had been caught and arrested after he was caught on town centre CCTV cameras, counting the £100 or so he had obtained during the robbery.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Seddon said later that she had made a “good recovery” from her ordeal but had suffered from pains in her hands for a little while afterwards.

The court heard Hart had carried out one attempted robbery offence previously - but this was back in 1993 as a youth.