A man was jailed on Tuesday 2 March, for the violent assault and robbery of an elderly woman in Westminster.

A man was jailed on Tuesday 2 March, for the violent assault and robbery of an elderly woman in Westminster.

Collin Reid, 42, appeared at Southwark Crown Court and was sentenced to six years and four months’ imprisonment.

He had pleaded guilty to robbery at the same court on Tuesday, 24 November 2020.

On 7 July 2020, the 87-year-old female victim took a bus to buy groceries at a supermarket on Tottenham Court Road. When she had completed her shopping she returned by bus to her home address off Charing Cross Road.

As she entered the gated area of her home address, she was attacked by Reid who attempted to take her bag. However, the bag was worn diagonally across the victim’s body and would not come free.

Reid pushed the victim to the ground and kicked her in the back while she lay on the floor as he continued to try to break the bag strap free, instead of pulling it over the victim’s head.

Four witnesses passing by stopped when they heard the victim’s screams and one, thinking quickly, took pictures of Reid that were later submitted into police evidence and were hugely significant in the case against him.

The victim suffered extensive injuries to her arm, knees and back. Immediately following the assault the suspect entered a nearby building where he took two purses from the handbag before disposing of the bag and making off.

An investigation was launched by detectives in Westminster, and Reid was arrested on 16 September 2020 at an address on Guildford Street, WC1 on suspicion of robbery.

A month after entering an initial not guilty plea, Reid appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, 24 November where, due to the weight of the evidence against him, he changed his plea to guilty.

Detective Constable James Brooks, of the Met’s Central West Basic Command Unit, said: “The victim in this case, although physically very frail, has been very strong throughout our investigation and the subsequent hearings at court.

“Although she is on the road to recovery from the injuries inflicted by Reid during the attack, the psychological effects of this incident will continue far beyond the healing of her physical injuries.

“I would like to thank the witnesses who intervened and took images of Reid and who rushed to the victim’s side to help her.

“I hope that everyone concerned finds some satisfaction in the knowledge that Reid admitted the offence and that he will now spend a significant time in prison for his callous and cowardly actions to steal £60 from a pensioner.”