WATCH: CCTV footage shows moment robber attacked woman, 79, as she went to play bingo
PUBLISHED: 06:33 27 April 2019
An elderly victim was swung to the ground by robber Rhys Burroughs as he snatched her purse close to a social club where she played bingo.
Rhys Burroughs, of Colchester Road, was jailed for eight years at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, following a three-day trial.
He had denied the charge of robbery against the woman, but was found guilty by a majority verdict.
Today, police have released footage to show the ”cowardly attack” on an “entirely innocent”.
The robbery offence took place at 7.35pm on November 5, 2017, in Victoria Street, close to the Westgate Ward Social Club where the victim had played bingo for the last 25 years.
The victim, who was 79 at the time of the offence, but is now 81, parked her car and was fiddling with her handbag, placing the strap over her head, when she became aware of a man “loitering” nearby.
As she shut her door she felt an arm come from behind her around her neck which had the affect of pushing her against her car.
Burroughs tried to pull her bag off her and as the woman struggled she was swung round and fell to the ground near her car.
While on the ground the victim saw Borroughs “running hell for leather”.
Following the robbery the victim's contactless bank card was used to make a number of purchases and a man who Burroughs had been staying with in Kelly Road at the time admitted being responsible for those transactions.
Detective Sergeant Craig Powell, of the serious crime disruption team, said: “Rhys Burroughs will now have plenty of time in prison to contemplate his deplorable and cowardly actions on that November evening in 2017.
“I cannot imagine what goes through the mind of a man aged in his 30s to assault and rob a woman aged in her late 70s, it was a despicable act targeting an entirely innocent lady on her way to bingo.
“The impact on the victim's life has been significant. She suffers from bad dreams and paranoia and no longer feels safe in her own home.
“The attack shocked not just the victim, but also her family and friends and she feels that her life will never be the same again, as her confidence has been destroyed. I am really grateful the victim has found the courage to share the effect this incident has had on her and her family.
“The likes of Rhys Burroughs should heed these words and realise the lasting and often irreversible effect their actions have on their victims. We will continue to pursue the perpetrators of these crimes and bring them to justice.”
He had previously admitted a separate charge of burglary relating to an incident at a house in Cemetery Lane, Ipswich, on 27 May last year, where a bag containing a wallet and bank cards was stolen, along with a MacBook Air and an iPad.