Pensioner’s mugging terror at the hands of drug addict who she used to babysit

IPSWICH: A callous thug is today starting a four-year jail term after mugging a partially-sighted 81-year-old - who used to babysit him when he was a child.

Drug addict Barry Lawrence crept up behind pensioner Ruby Noble, who was walking with a white stick, and grabbed her bag containing �120, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

She screamed at him and, as he ran off, waved her stick and tried to chase after him, said Godfried Duah, prosecuting.

However, the pensioner, who has problems with her eyesight, fell over and suffered bruising to her arms, legs, wrist and hand.

In a victim impact statement, Mrs Noble described the devastating impact the mugging, which happened in June as she walked home from Asda in Ipswich’s Stoke Park, has had on her life.

She said she was now frightened to go out on her own.

She said that if she saw a youth wearing a hoodie she froze and started shaking.

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“My life is full of fear and apprehension and when I think about what happened I start crying,” she said.

Lawrence, 21, of Fritton Close, admitted robbery and was jailed for four years.

He also admitted attempted theft from the Co-op store in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, two offences of theft, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Sentencing him, Recorder Thomas Clover described Mrs Noble as “vulnerable” and said that she had been targeted by Lawrence for that reason.

“With her white stick she must have stood out a mile as someone who couldn’t defend herself,” said the judge.

Mr Duah said the day after the robbery Lawrence had gone to the Co-op store in Hawthorn Drive as the assistant manager, John Girling, was cashing up and grabbed a cash bag containing �300.

During the tussle between Lawrence and Mr Girling, the bag split open and Lawrence ran off empty-handed.

Mr Duah said the theft offences related to two stolen drain covers which Lawrence had sold as scrap metal.

David Wilson, for Lawrence, said his client was deeply ashamed of the robbery.

He said Lawrence had been addicted to Class A drugs but since being remanded in custody he had been receiving treatment.