Canterbury Crown Court

Bag robber told his victim: “I need this – I’m unemployed”

A robber who seriously injured a 98-year-old woman as he tried to steal her handbag told her: “I need this – I’m unemployed.”

Martin Spencer left the pensioner writhing in agony on the ground during the incident in Marks and Spencer in St George’s Street, Canterbury, on the afternoon of July 31.

The victim suffered a cracked pelvis and broken collar bone, and now requires ongoing care and treatment.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that she had been shopping with her son when he momentarily left her side to collect some groceries from another part of the store.

It was at this point that Spencer appeared and grabbed the victim’s handbag, telling her: “I need this – I’m unemployed.”

Robber Martin Spencer is starting a 32-month prison sentence for his crime

Shop staff went to help the victim, while Spencer remained nearby for a short time before leaving the scene.

Police distributed a CCTV image of Spencer and later identified him as her attacker before arresting him and charging him with the crime.

The jobless 61-year-old of St Peter’s Place admitted one count of robbery.

Judge Catherine Brown jailed him for 32 months.

After the case, the investigating officer Det Con Keith Rochford said: ‘This was a crime fuelled by greed and an over-inflated sense of worth.

“Spencer chose what he thought would be an easy target, claiming his need was greater than hers, and did not expect his victim to show such courage against him.

“He stole her handbag, and only dropped it when staff came to the victim’s aid.

“I hope Spencer will use the time in custody to think about the severity of his actions and the impact they have had on the victim and her family.”

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