A thief who assaulted a 91-year-old woman before stealing her purse has been jailed.
The woman was walking along Brierley Road in Cowpen, just before 10am on Wednesday, October 4, when Christopher Parker pushed her to the ground and tried to steal her handbag, dragging her along.
Parker then actually summoned help for his victim from a nearby shop. Telling passers-by he was acting as a good Samaritan, he joined others in escorting her back to her home.
But once she had put her handbag and purse in the kitchen for safekeeping, Parker stole her purse containing £100 cash.
The victim suffered bruising to her body and was taken to hospital where she was admitted for two weeks.
Although her physical injuries were not deemed serious, the physiological trauma has meant she has not been able to return to her own home, and now lives in respite care.
At Newcastle Crown Court on Monday, Parker, 33, of Greenside House, Cowpen, was sentenced to a total of four years and 10 months in prison.
He pleaded guilty to assault with intent to rob and theft.
Detective Constable Chris Forster, of Northern CID, said: “This was a cowardly assault by a strong young man on a clearly elderly woman.
“Parker roughly pushed her to the ground and tried to rip the lady’s handbag from her.
“After convincing passers-by he was acting as a good Samaritan, he showed his true colours by callously stealing her purse from within her own home, when she was at her most vulnerable point.”
Det Con Forster added: “He has caused the elderly victim life changing trauma and has left a close knit loving family, absolutely devastated.
“Parker will now have time to fully consider the consequences of his actions as he starts this prison sentence.
“This should also serve as a warning to any others that this type of crime will result in a well-deserved spell in jail.”