Disabled pensioner attacked by robber

A DISABLED pensioner who only has one arm suffered head injuries after being knocked to the ground by a robber as she walked through a town centre.

Liam Ferguson was jailed for four years after targeting the woman in Pontefract on July 26 this year.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the 65-year-old victim only has one arm.

She was walking home alone after spending the evening with friends. Ferguson rode up behind her on his bicycle and grabbed her handbag from her shoulder.

The woman was dragged to the ground and knocked unconscious after banging her head.

Ferguson rode away without stopping.

The bag contained £200 in cash, bank cards and a mobile phone.

Miss Pryke said the victim needed stitches for a gash to her head.

The woman also suffered a black eye.

She spent more than two weeks in hospital after the attack.

Ferguson, of Chequerfield Road, Pontefract, was arrested but refused to comment when interviewed by police.

He pleaded guilty to robbery. He has convictions for 62 previous offences, including robbery.

Kara Frith, mitigating, said Ferguson had not planned to rob anyone on the night of the attack.

She added: “He saw the complainant and took the opportunity when he saw the bag on her arm. He hates himself for the injuries that he has caused but it wasn’t his intention.”

Miss Frith said Ferguson committed the offences to fund his drug habit.

She told the court the defendant was from a close-knit community and had been disowned by his family over what he did.

Recorder Toby Wynn told Ferguson: “You targeted an elderly lady who was going about her business at night.

“She is a vulnerable victim.”

Castleton Mills in Armley, Leeds, which has undergone a transformation. 
Picture by Simon Hulme

Potential lies in our ‘disappearing’ historic textile mills, says heritage body