Woman, 72, dragged to ground by robber after night out at bingo

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A 72-YEAR-OLD woman was dragged to the ground by a robber who pulled at her handbag like a “dog”, a court heard.

The brave pensioner, who was making her way home from playing bingo, was pulled across the road and brought to the ground twice as she made a desperate bid to keep hold of her belongings while screaming and shouting for help.

She told police her attacker was pulling at her bag “like a dog would shake a doll or toy”.

Newcastle Crown Court heard she suffered grazing and bruising as a result of her ordeal and lost £100 in cash as well as sentimental property when her handbag snapped and the robber made off with it.

Andrew Haikney, 27, of Railway Terrace, in South Hylton, denies robbery and is being tried by a jury.

In a statement to the court, the pensioner said she was walking along Annie Street, Seaburn, on March 11, and at first thought someone she knew was tugging at her bag as a joke, but then realised it was a stranger.

She told police: “He was much bigger and stronger than me.

“I was determined to keep hold.

“I was screaming for him to stop and also for help.”

“Despite my best efforts he gradually pulled me across the street to the middle of the road.

“He was pulling the bag so violently we both fell over onto the ground but neither released our grip.

“It was shocking and unexpected, I couldn’t believe what was happening.

“Instinct made me hang onto the bag with both hands.

“He was pulling violently and it pulled me to my feet.

“His actions pulled me towards the pavement and he stumbled backwards.

“He tripped over the kerb and this pulled me onto the ground next to him.

“Neither of us let go.

“Most of this was a blur.

“We were both then standing on the footpath, still wrestling over it.

“He was pulling and shaking violently at my bag, like a dog would shake a doll or toy.

“I heard the straps of the bag begin to rip and suddenly it snapped.

“He turned and ran off.”

The court heard the woman suffered grazing and bruising to her hands and arm and her knees were scuffed.

She said her shoulders and upper body were left sore from the pulling.

The woman told police: “The whole incident was very distressing and frightening.”

Haikney denies carrying out the robbery, but admitted he had been in the Seaburn area at the time.

Proceeding.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho