Woman, 76, describes moment she was targeted by robber as she walked to church

Camps Road, Haverhill
An elderly woman who was walking to church was pushed over and robbed of her handbag by a man aged in his 20s.


Picture Mark Westley
Camps Road, Haverhill An elderly woman who was walking to church was pushed over and robbed of her handbag by a man aged in his 20s. Picture Mark Westley

A 76-year-old woman has described the moment she was targeted by a robber who stole her handbag and shoved her into a road as she walked to church.

The woman, who was on her way to a service at St Mary’s Church, in Haverhill, suffered a fracture to her hip in the ‘brazen attack’ in Camps Road on Sunday (April 2) at about 9.20am.

She tried to stop the man from stealing the handbag before he pushed her to the ground and fled.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonynous, said: “He walked towards me and seemed to walk past me but then suddenly he was infront of me grabbing my bag.

“I suppose I should have just let him have it but I was rather attached to that bag and tried to stop him taking it.

“I must have screamed or yelled because a man did look out of one of the windows and he must have shouted.

“He got my bag, pushed me really hard and I ended up in the road on my side.”

The man, aged in his 20s, ran off with the bag along the alleyway of Lower Downs Slade, leading to Downs Crescent.

The woman received help from a man and his wife who she knew from church as they were driving by in their car.

She was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for treatment and is now recovering.

“I’ve been very well looked after by my daughter and son-in-law. I’ve been showered with well-wishes and flowers so thank you to everyone.

“I don’t know if this person was desperate or what but his one act of nastiness fades into insignificance compared to the kindness I’ve received.

“I must admit I’m in a lot of pain but hopefully I will recover soon and continue with my life.”

She urged anyone who knows the man to come forward.

He is described as having a tanned complexion, is 5ft 8in tall, of slim/slight build, with a dark beard and moustache.

He was wearing a hooded top and beanie hat.

The bag, which she had bought for Christmas, was dark turquoise with a gold fastening.

Items in the bag included about £20 in cash, her reading glasses, bus pass and an old mobile phone.

Detective Sergeant Michael Gwyn said: “It’s a brazen attack on an innocent vulnerable lady.

“We would seek to reassure the community that we’re doing everything we can to bring this person to justice. This is an isolated attack and Suffolk remains one of the safest places to live in the UK.”

A church spokesman said: “Everyone is shocked, but people have rallied around to show her love and support. She also has a strong and supportive family.”

Witnesses should call Bury St Edmunds CID on 101 quoting reference 26508/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.