Reward for courageous 93-year-old who helped jail mugger
A 93-YEAR-OLD woman, whose shouts led to the arrest of a mugger, has been awarded £1,000 for her courage.
The victim, who walks with a stick, had her handbag snatched by drug addict Luke Goodhead in an Oakwood street.
She immediately shouted out and a good Samaritan who came to her aid, flagged down a passing police car and helped officers identify the thief.
And the plucky pensioner, who said living through the Second World War had made her tough, told the Derby Telegraph she would have chased down the mugger herself if she did not have mobility problems.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Speaking after Goodhead was jailed at Derby Crown Court, the woman, who lives in Oakwood and does not want to be named, said: "The good Lord was looking after me.
"I didn't feel scared at the time. I thought 'oh my bag has gone' and shouted for help.
"I was trying to go after him but it was a struggle because I can't run.
"If he had come towards me, instead of snatching my bag from behind, I would have clunked him with my stick."
Jailing Goodhead for two years and eight months, Judge John Gosling praised the woman's "plucky spirit" and awarded her £1,000, which she has since vowed to give to charity.
He said: "This is a very serious crime. In broad daylight, you targeted a vulnerable lady because you knew she couldn't give chase.
"She acted with great courage and it was the way in which she reacted that was responsible for your arrest.
"I award her a sum of £1,000, which will be paid to her in due course by the High Sheriff."
The court heard that Goodhead, 31, was caught by police just minutes after he snatched the bag in Saffron Drive at 10am on August 15.
A man who heard the woman shouting for help alerted officers in a nearby car, pointing out the direction Goodhead had gone.
The woman said both the man and police had been "very kind".
She said: "I didn't react until about a week after and it was rather traumatic. When I saw someone tall like him, with a woollen cap on, I kept thinking it was him – even though it wasn't because he had been arrested straight away.
"For about a fortnight, I couldn't go out by myself. But then I thought 'I have got to pull my socks up and go for it' and I did."
The woman put her strength of spirit down to the fact she had lived through the Second World War.
She said: "There were bombs dropping in all directions. You never knew if you were going to be alive or dead the next morning. So, when something like this happens you just take it in your stride."
The High Sheriff of Derbyshire Alan Woods said: "I'm absolutely delighted the judge has made this award. I will be writing to the lady personally to thank her for the role she has played in bringing this man to justice. She showed exceptional courage and bravery."
Detective Constable Tom Burton, investigating officer in the case, said: "She acted bravely. It's one of those cases where she was obviously identified as a victim because she was vulnerable and elderly.
"She was just minding her own business, doing her shopping. Luckily she wasn't injured. The description she gave, which was passed very quickly to the officers, helped them identify and arrest the suspect as he was running off."
The court also heard that, two days prior to this incident, Goodhead stole a handbag from the home of another pensioner.
Sarah Allen, prosecuting, said: "The lady, who lives with her husband, is in her 70s and had known the defendant for a couple of years. He visited regularly and was always polite."
It was on one of those visits that he stole the woman's handbag. This contained her house keys, photographs of her grandchildren and £60 – the remainder of her pension and the only money she had.
Justin Ablott, for Goodhead, of no fixed address, who pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, said: "He is thoroughly ashamed of himself and rightly so. The background to his offending is addiction to class A drugs."