A paranoid schizophrenic man, who dragged a 92-year-old-woman down the street by her purse, has received his sentence of almost six years in jail.
CCTV footage from June 27 last year shows Sanchez Edwards, 28, drag the recently widowed pensioner around two metres down Hoxton Street, as she refused to let go of the handbag he was attempting to steal.
Edwards admitted to the crime over five months ago but had his case delayed six times at a cost of over £20,000 to the taxpayer. Sentencing was most recently moved from February 13, so as not to clash with Judge Joanna Greenberg’s holiday.
Edwards was sentenced to five years and eight months at Wood Green Crown Court on Wednesday March 7. Deemed ‘dangerous’ under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, Sanchez will serve at least two-thirds of his sentence and will only be released with the agreement of the parole board.
At the sentencing, Judge Greenberg said: “You cannot have failed to realise she was elderly. She was dragged for two metres. You then ran off.
“The CCTV shows you have followed her, clearly targeting her as she was elderly. The offence is so serious that an immediate custodial sentence is the only option.”
Judge Greenberg also imposed an additional three years to the time Edwards will spend ‘on licence’ (the time in which an offender, once released from prison, must adhere to strict conditions and limitations).
The 28-year-old suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and will begin his sentence in hospital, under the supervision of hospital staff. Specialist doctors will decide when Edwards is ready to serve the remainder of his sentence in prison.
A shadow of her former self
The victim, Gladys Scriven, sustained extensive bruising, cracked ribs, and now walks with a limp.
The court heard on Wednesday, how Mrs Scriven held on as Edwards dragged her down the paved street until she was: “in so much pain that she eventually let go”.
In an impact statement, the widow said she had become “a shadow of her former self”. Scriven said she suffered from recurring nightmares and was still unable to sleep on her left side due to the pain.
The handbag, which Edwards eventually made off with, contained a £50 Virgin brand mobile phone, a travel pass and £100 cash.
Police said Edward’s sentence was influenced by his three previous robbery convictions.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley, of Hackney CID, said: “The lady has lived her entire life unscathed, yet Edwards’ brutal and callous actions have destroyed this in an instant.
“At no time throughout these proceedings has he [Edwards] ever offered an explanation for his actions, taken responsibility, or shown any empathy or compassion towards the victim.
“I sincerely hope that the lady is able to rebuild her life following this horrific ordeal.”