A THUG who carried out a violent robbery on a 72-year-old while out on licence from a burglary at an ill pensioner’s home, has been jailed for five years.
Andrew Haikney dragged his victim across a road while pulling at her handbag like a “dog”.
The terrified woman was brought to the ground twice as she made a desperate bid to keep hold of her belongings while screaming for help.
Newcastle Crown Court heard she suffered grazing and bruising as a result of her ordeal in March and lost £100 when her handbag handle snapped and Haikney made off with it.
The attack happened after Haikney was released from a three-year prison sentence for a burglary at Brenda Kelly’s Boldon home just weeks before she died. Haikney had tricked his way into the 72-year-old’s sheltered accommodation in November 2009 by claiming he was her elderly friend’s grandson and had been sent to check her doors and windows for firework damage.
After leaving, Mrs Kelly, a widow who used an oxygen mask to help her breathe and a wheelchair to get around, realised her handbag, containing her purse, some cash, bank cards and glasses had gone. Mrs Kelly died just weeks later and her family always believed her death was linked to her ordeal, which she never fully recovered from.
Haikney, 27, of Railway Terrace, Penshaw, was found guilty of robbery.
Mr Recorder Jeremy Freedman told him: “You targeted a lady in her 70s, you waited for her to come out of a shop.
“I am satisfied you then followed her and you sought to steal her handbag. She put up resistance and a struggle ensued.
“She suffered enormous trauma as a result of your actions.”
After hearing about Haikney’s latest conviction, Mrs Kelly’s grieving family said they are devastated he was able to target another pensioner while out on licence.
Carol Kelly, 42, said: “Our mam was never the same after what he did to her and to think he has now picked on someone else is just sickening.”