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Jail for thug who stole OAP's handbag using broken bottle as weapon

Tuesday 14th November 2017

A 29-year-old women who stole a handbag after threatening the elderly owner with a broken bottle has been sent to jail.

Brenda Rossiter, of The Farrows, Maidstone, was sentenced to three years and two months in prison after pleading guilty to threatening a woman in her 80s with a broken glass bottle and stealing her handbag.   

At 10.10am on Sunday October 15, 2017, the victim was sitting in the passenger seat of a car at a supermarket in Loose Road while her husband went to buy a newspaper.

Rossiter approached the car, opened the driver’s door while holding the broken bottle and threatened to cut the victim if she did not hand over her handbag.

The victim refused but Rossiter manged to snatch the bag from her grasp and ran off leaving the broken bottle on the car seat.   

The victim’s husband called for help and nearby members of the public phoned the police and tried to stop her getting away. They managed to recover the handbag after a struggle and in spite of threats from Rossiter who managed to escape into an adjacent road.

Police officers who responded to the incident went to an address in Farrow Road where she was found attempting to change her clothing. She was arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Rossiter admitted the offence when interviewed and was subsequently charged and remanded in custody.

She was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 13 November where Judge Statman praised the bravery of the victim in resisting the attack and the public spirited actions of the members of the public who intervened and recovered the handbag. 

Detective Sergeant Ian McCarthy said: "This was a particularly violent attack on an elderly woman who tried to prevent the loss of her handbag but was ultimately overpowered.

"Rossiter showed no concern for her victim as she made off and continued to threaten other members of the public who intervened.

"I would like to commend the victim for her bravery and also her husband and the members of the public who assisted.

"I would also like to identify and thank a man who had been using a cash machine near the scene and also tried to stop Rossiter as she ran off." 

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