Robber jailed for targeting pensioner

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A ROBBER who tracked a 76-year-old woman through a town centre before stealing her purse and cash has been jailed for four years.

CCTV footage showed Anthony Crossland following his elderly victim into a bank and waiting for her as she withdrew cash.

Crossland, 25, then followed her out of the Barclays Bank in Hemsworth before forcefully grabbing her handbag which contained her purse.

Members of the public who witnessed the attack chased after Crossland but he managed to get away.

He was traced to his flat on Marton Avenue.

CCTV footage covering the premises showed him running down the street and then taking off a pair of distinctive green jogging bottoms he had been wearing at the time of the robbery at 1.15pm on December 5 last year.

He could then be seen taking out the purse and removing items from it.

Footage from inside the bank showed the victim going up to the counter inside the building and withdrawing cash.

Crossland followed her in, sat in a chair and waited for her as she withdrew £130.

The court heard the victim had been left badly shaken by the attack and was now afraid to leave her home.

She had also suffered breathing difficulties and other health problems as a result of the attack.

Shortly before targeting the woman Crossland had been thrown of a Home Bargains store for causing trouble.

Crossland was out of prison on licence at the time of the incident for an offence of unlawful wounding.

He also has other convictions for robbery and breaching community orders.

Michael Greenhalgh, mitigating, said Crossland committed the offence after he began abusing drugs soon after his release from prison.

The court heard he had been taking drugs shortly before the incident and was in need of cash to buy more.

He said Crossland had no family support as his relatives had disowned him as a result of his offending.

Mr Greenhalgh said: “He understands what he did was wrong.”

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “She was elderly and infirm. You followed her just to rob her. She is now terrified. The life she had left has been devalued by your actions.”