Family pleads for help to catch gang who attacked Leeds grandmother

Sabina Harrison, 78, after she was mugged.
Sabina Harrison, 78, after she was mugged.
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THE family of an elderly woman who suffered shocking injuries in a violent robbery say the people of Leeds have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable.

Grandmother of four Sabina Harrison, 78, was left battered and bruised when she was attacked in Harehills.

Police have arrested four youths but have released the photograph of Mrs Harrison’s injuries to encourage the public to help their investigation.

Mrs Harrison’s daughter, Sabina Halliday, has backed the appeal – and says more needs to be done to prevent such attacks.

“We want to prevent this from happening to someone else,” she said. “As a community in the city, we need to make sure that our vulnerable people are safeguarded so that they aren’t afraid of going outside in daylight.

“We can’t turn the clock back – but those who were involved need to learn that this is not acceptable.”

Mrs Harrison was walking through Harehills on her way to catch a bus when she was targeted by a gang in Milan Road at about 5.20pm on Friday, February 28.

One of the thieves grabbed her handbag and pulled her to the ground, causing her to hit her face.

It is believed she was dragged a short distance as he tried to free the bag from her arm.

The gang of four then ran off along Ashton Road.

Passers-by called emergency services and Mrs Harrison was taken to hospital.

Mrs Halliday added: “I was the first person from our family to see her and I was very shocked. I knew that she had been mugged and had a fall but I was quite alarmed when I saw the extent of her injuries.”

She said her mother had not been out of her house alone since the incident and still required regular hospital check-ups.

“This isn’t just about an old person losing her bag – that’s the least of it,” she said.

“It’s the impact on her confidence, plus the amount of time it’s taking to deal with the injuries.”

Four youths, aged 14 to 17, from Manchester, were arrested and released on bail pending further enquiries.

PC Philip Dodsworth, of Leeds District CID, said: “We hope the impact of this image will encourage anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.”

Police are especially keen to talk to the driver of a Mark IV Volkswagen Golf which was seen on CCTV at the time who may have witnessed the incident.

* Call PC Dodsworth at Stainbeck police station via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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