A MANHUNT is under way for a daylight robber who left a 76-year-old woman with severe injuries.
The pensioner, known locally as Colette, was targeted as she crossed a grassy area behind St Columba’s Catholic Church in Newton, Chester, at around noon on Saturday.
She suffered serious fractures to her hip and shoulder as a result of the attack and is now recovering in hospital.
Police are appealing for witnesses to contact them, while locals have put up posters in the neighbourhood pleading for anyone with information to come forward.
The posters state: “Her injuries may repair; the mental scars from this cowardly attack will last a lifetime.”
Det Cons Neil Doleman, who is investigating the robbery, said: “We are keen to speak to anyone who may have information about this awful crime. The victim has been left with severe injuries and we want to ensure the person responsible is held to account for their actions."
“The woman did not get a clear look at her attacker but it is thought they may have been wearing a navy top with yellow piping.”
The man approached his victim from behind and “used force” to take her handbag, which was later found discarded, he said.
Neighbours of the victim, who lives on Tiverton Close, told the Leader yesterday they were shocked by the robbery, and several called on Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) to cut back overgrown foliage in the area between Newhall Road and Tiverton Close, which can easily conceal attackers.
Freda Hughes said: “Instead of walking around the road she took a shortcut across the green and whoever it was must have been hiding in the trees. It’s made everyone a bit frightened around here.”
Another woman added: “She’s only been here six or seven months but she’s a lovely lady. I don’t usually lock my door but I will now. You’d never believe it could happen in the middle of the day like that.
“Those hedges are overgrown and anyone can hide in them. They need cutting back. This has frightened a lot of people.”
A CwaC spokesman said the grassy area behind the church was “maintained as part of our regular schedule”.
Father Russell Cooke, of St Columba’s Catholic Church, said he did not know Colette well, but had heard she was responding well to treatment.
“It’s very sad that this has happened,” he said. “I think she’s been badly shaken up but she’s doing quite well in hospital.”
Anybody with information should call police on 101. Information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.