A violent drug addict has pleaded guilty to the robbery of a 92-year-old woman which left her with horrendous injuries.
Sanchez Edwards, aged 28 of no fixed address, admitted the offence at Wood Green Crown Court today (Tuesday, 15 August).
He was remanded in custody to be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, 10 October.
On Tuesday, 27 June at about 2:40pm, the victim was walking along Hoxton Street, Hackney. She had just been to post a letter and had turned into an alleyway that leads to a medical centre.
Unknown to her, Edwards had followed her from the street into the alleyway. As the victim entered the grounds of the medical centre, she was attacked by Edwards from behind.
He grabbed her handbag and made several attempts to yank it away from her, using such force that he pulled her to the ground. Screaming and shouting, the victim refused to let go of her bag and Edwards dragged her along the ground until she was in so much pain that she eventually let go.
Edwards then ran back into the alleyway and made off with her bag.
The victim suffered extensive bruising all over her body, most severe on her ribs, legs and side where she was dragged along. The attack also left her with several cracked ribs and a limp.
On Friday, 30 June detectives investigating the robbery released CCTV footage of the incident and photographs of the victim’s injuries.
Several people came forward to identify the suspect as Edwards and a manhunt was launched.
Enquiries revealed that Edwards was a patient at a medium-secure psychiatric facility in Hackney and had failed to return from unescorted leave on 17 May.
He was a paranoid schizophrenic with a history of illicit drug use.
Edwards was tracked and found to be using buses and travelling through London Underground stations across the capital.
A Crimestoppers reward of £5,000 was secured for information leading to his capture and images were released from various sightings in a bid to warn the public not to approach him.
On Monday, 10 July officers saw Edwards in the area of Bethnal Green Gardens, E1. Upon spotting police he ran away. Officers pursued and were able to detain and arrest him.
He was taken into custody and interviewed but refused to answer any questions.
On Monday, 17 July he was charged with the robbery.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, said: “Edward’s attack has had a harrowing effect on his victim. In addition to the physical injuries she suffered, there is also the emotional impact and she still suffers from anxiety, re-occurring nightmares and remains terrified of leaving her home, the attack stripping her of her independence.
“To compound the devastating consequences of this crime, this lady was married for more than sixty years and her husband recently died. She misses him dearly and was his carer for the last decade.
“I would like to thank the public for all the assistance they provided throughout this case and the heartfelt messages of support for the victim.
“The excellent quality of the CCTV footage assisted us in making the vital breakthrough and identifying Edwards as the robber.
“I truly hope this conviction offers a degree of closure for the victim and she is able to re-build her life.”