Mystery over robbery claim

Wendy Layford, of the Shoulder of Mutton pub, Shiney Row, who originally reported she had been beaten by robbers who stole Christmas Club cash, near to Washington Galleries.
Wendy Layford, of the Shoulder of Mutton pub, Shiney Row, who originally reported she had been beaten by robbers who stole Christmas Club cash, near to Washington Galleries.
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MYSTERY today surrounds an incident in which a pub landlady told police she had been beaten and robbed of almost £5,000.

Wendy Layford, who runs the Shoulder of Mutton, in Shiney Row, told officers she had been left with bruising to her brain after the attack.

The 46-year-old mum-of-two reported having £4,800 from a Christmas savings club account, belonging to regulars at the pub, stolen along with jewellery and other items.

But just days later, Mrs Layford, from Penshaw, withdrew her complaint and police said no robbery or assault had taken place.

However, officers are today continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Speaking earlier this week, Mrs Layford told the Echo she had withdrawn the cash from Halifax in The Galleries when two men grabbed her and “frog-marched” her to nearby bushes.

Mrs Layford – who has run the pub with husband Malcolm, 42, for 14 years – told the Echo: “I’d just got the money out and was leaving The Galleries at the bus station exit when they grabbed me from behind.

“One of them pushed something hard into my back.

“They frogmarched me towards Durham House, near the grassy area there.”

She added: “I begged them to leave my alone, but they didn’t.

“One of them just punched me in the face and then I don’t remember anything.”

Mrs Layford also reported that her wedding ring, eternity ring, her mum Elizabeth Gair’s wedding ring, two mobile phones, a silver Klaus Kobec bracelet watch, her passport and £80 of her own money were also taken.

“I remember waking up and being traumatised.

“It took me a while to realise where I was because I didn’t have a clue at first.”

Mrs Layford alleged the attack happened at about 11am on Friday.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “Police have fully investigated the report and it has been established the woman was not robbed or assaulted.

“Her injuries were not caused by any criminal offences.

“The complaint has been withdrawn and police are no longer investigating a report of a robbery.”

She added a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing.

Twitter: @davidallison88