A man who followed an elderly woman leaving a bank before dragging her to the ground to steal her handbag full of cash has been jailed.
Moses Blackwood, 22 , of Sunnyhill Road, Lambeth, was sentenced to four years and eight months’ imprisonment at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday, 15 August for robbery and assault with intent to commit robbery.
The court heard that at around 1.45pm on 14 February two women – a mother, 84, and her daughter 52 – were inside a bank on Streatham High Road, Lambeth.
Blackwood watched the mother withdraw £5,000 and divide the cash between the two women.
He then followed them along Streatham High Road and onto a bus. He alighted the bus with them and proceeded to follow them to a supermarket on Green Lane.
As they approached a residential address in Thornton Heath, Blackwood quickly approached and violently dragged the 84-year-old woman to the floor, stealing her handbag containing £2,500.
The daughter tried to stop Blackwood from taking her mother’s handbag but was punched and kicked by the suspect as he fought to get away. He pushed the 52-year-old woman to the floor before making off from the scene on foot.
Detectives in Croydon quickly launched an investigation and gathered CCTV footage of the attack and the route the suspect took before the robbery.
On the 17 April, Blackwood contacted police to say that he had been a victim of crime and forced to commit the robbery. He attended Brixton Police station on 18 April where he was arrested for robbery and assault.
Blackwood’s claim that he committed the robbery under duress was dismissed by the judge who described it as a pack of lies concocted to avoid justice.
Blackwood later pleaded guilty to the offence at the same court on 16 June.
PC Steve Keahey, of the Met’s CID Croydon, said: “This was a vicious attack on two women on their own doorstep which has had a significant impact on their lives since.
“Blackwood observed the victims for some time and followed them a considerable distance to commit this appalling offence. I hope this sentence result brings some measure of comfort and a feeling of justice for the victims.
“Although incidents with this level of violence are rare, I would encourge anyone who withdraws large amounts of cash from banks to be aware of their surroundings and if they see anyone acting suspiciously or paying close attention to them, to go with their instinct and call police. Your call could be vital to preventing someone else being followed and robbed.”