The word ‘despicable’ doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in describing the actions of the individual who targeted 91-year-old Joyce Brehaut.
Joyce was in her sheltered housing flat in Pudsey when a man knocked on her door. He claimed his grandmother lived in the flat upstairs and asked her asking to use a pen and paper.
He followed her inside and grabbed a purse containing just £13 that was perched on top of the zimmer frame she was using. Joyce tried to stop him. But what chance did she have?
He knew what he was doing all right. Why pick on someone your own age, someone who might fight back or who might not fall for the ruse, when there are vulnerable, fragile, trusting people like Joyce around.
It seems the shock of the incident and the utter betrayal have had a devastating impact on Joyce’s health and last night she was gravely ill in St James’s Hospital.
Her son Malcolm’s words are poignant indeed: ‘He didn’t hurt her in any way but he mentally scarred her. She ended up not feeling safe in her home and went downhill.
“She used to love going to bingo a few afternoons a week but she lost interest in that. She didn’t want to go shopping or anything. She just gave up.”’
As Joyce’s family rally round her hospital bed we hope that the police find this man - and soon, to give the smallest crust of comfort at this most painful time.
Anyone who might have a clue who he is should make sure they speak up - and do it soon - and give poor Joyce the justice she so deserves.
Proud of our young mayors -in-waiting
Good luck to all 12 school children campaigning to become the new leeds children’s Mayor.
Voting is under way in this year’s competition, which saw record entrants, with 36 city primary schools submitting their best manifestos. Whoever emerges to wear the chain, you’re all winners in our eyes!