Pensioner ‘thought she would die’ in violent Leeds street robbery

Nicola Peel.
Nicola Peel.

A pensioner thought she was going to die after being choked and repeatedly punched in the face by a woman during a street robbery.

Nicola Peel dragged the 68-year-old woman behind a fence and threatened to stab her during the daytime attack as she made demands for money.

Leeds Crown Court heard Peel approached the woman as she was waiting at a bus stop at 10am on December 14 last year.

Richard Canning, prosecuting, said Peel, 32, approached the victim and said: “Come here I want to show you something.”

The woman walked over and Peel grabbed her coat and dragged her into a garden.

Peel then closed a six-foot gate so they were out of view.

She demanded the victim’s purse and began punching her to the face.

Mr Canning said: “There was nothing the complainant could do.

“She grabbed her with one hand and continued punching her with the other.

“She said ‘give me your purse, I have got a knife in my back pocket.’”

Peel then grabbed the pensioner by the neck so she could not breathe.

The victim tried to shout for help but Peel slapped her across the face and told her to “shut up.”

The prosecutor said: “She thought she was going to die and gave her purse over.”

A witness then opened the gate and contacted police.

Peel was arrested nearby around 10 minutes later and was found in possession of heroin.

She was also carrying a pair of nail scissors.

The court heard Peel robbed another woman days earlier on Ashley Road, Harehills.

Peel grabbed the woman and ordered her to hand over her purse and mobile phone after telling the victim she was carrying a knife.

She pleaded guilty to two offences of robbery, possession of a bladed article and possession of heroin.

Peel has previous convictions for violence and drug offences.

Michael Miller, mitigating, said Peel had a long history of drug-related offending.

He said she had served a number of prison sentences in which she managed to tackle her drug abuse, only to re-offend upon release.

She was out of prison on licence at the time of the attacks and was recalled to prison.

Peel was given a four-year prison sentence and told she must complete an extended two-year licence period.