A man has been sentenced to six years in prison for the robbery of an elderly woman in Dorchester.

Reece Andrew McCoy, 33 and of Cornwall Road, Dorchester, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Wednesday 26 February 2020 after being found guilty at an earlier trial at the same court.

At around 6pm on Friday 24 November 2017 the victim, a woman aged in her 70s, was walking down a cut through from South Walks Road to Charles Street when she became aware of a man behind her.

She walked through the Acland Road car park and as she got to the middle of it she felt someone grab her forcibly from behind, taking hold of the handbag she was carrying.

The victim saw the man pulling at the bag and this caused her to lose her balance. She fell down on her right hand side and also struck her head on the ground.

The woman was still holding on to her handbag and the man dragged her along the floor for around two body lengths before threatening to stab her if she didn’t let go. The victim never saw a knife or any other weapon.

The offender managed to pull the bag away from the victim and ran out of the car park, climbing over a wall into Acland Road.

The victim was treated by paramedics for a head injury but did not require hospital treatment.

Officers attended and following a search of the area, supported by a police dog, a handbag was located nearby. The victim confirmed it was her bag and that £150 in cash was missing from inside.

The handbag was submitted for forensic analysis and a DNA sample was obtained that matched that of the defendant.

McCoy was arrested on 12 January 2018 and subsequently charged with the robbery. He first appeared in court on 2 July 2018.

Detective Constable Emma Swann, of Weymouth CID, said: “This was a nasty, unprovoked robbery on a vulnerable elderly woman by Reece McCoy that showed no regard for the potential harm he might have caused his victim.

“While she thankfully did not sustain any serious physical injuries, the psychological impact was understandably significant for her.

“We will not tolerate violent behaviour such as this and I am pleased that through our investigation we were able to identify McCoy as the man responsible for this despicable offence so he could face justice at court.”

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