Jacob Edwards, prosecuting, said: “The victim, a 69-year-old woman, was in Southend High Street at around lunchtime.
“This defendant approached her from behind, grabbed her handbag from her shoulder and took it from her.
“That caused her to spin around, but fortunately no injuries were sustained.
“A number of members of the public pursued the defendant. As a result, he threw the bag to the ground, so it was recovered relatively shortly afterwards.”Whew! All's well that ends well.
Mr Edwards said: “He was apprehended fairly quickly by the officers through CCTV.
“He was interviewed and told police that he had seen the woman and wanted to see if people still cared and that he took the bag for a joke.
“He said that prior to taking the bag he had given the victim a thumbs up so she knew it was a joke.”That's a novel excuse!
But Judge David Owen-Jones said that the pensioner had, in fact, been left “scared.”
In a victim impact statement, Mr Owen-Jones said she the woman told how “her heart was racing and she felt vulnerable.”
He added: “This kind of offence has a great impact on elderly persons.”Judge not buying it? Well, well, well.
Harry Potter (Ed: !!), mitigating, said the offence took place while Hardy was not taking medication for mental health problems.Lots of that about lately...
Sentencing Hardy to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, Mr Owen-Jones said any further offending would see him locked up.Wait, what? Was it a first offence?
The court heard Hardy had carried out an almost identical theft in Woolwich, south London, in 2013- on that occasion stealing an umbrella.Hmmm...
“This is the second time you have robbed somebody in exactly the same way.
“In 90 per cent cases, people involved in street robbery they go straight inside, if they to it twice then it’s almost automatically inside.
“I’m willing to take a risk and a risk it is.
“But if you break the order you will come back before me and straight inside you will go for a period of between one and four years.”But you're not the one taking a risk. Are you? If he goes on to commit more crime (and really, what are the odds?) nothing will happen to you.