Hampshire Incidents

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Jail for women who launched violent attack on elderly frail man in Sandown

A woman who attacked an elderly and frail holidaymaker during a robbery attempt has been jailed


On Wednesday 17 November 2021, the victim – aged in his 70s – had walked to Sainsbury’s local on Sandown High Street to buy some candles, having suffered a power outage at his holiday accommodation.


After withdrawing money from a cashpoint, he was approached by 41-year-old Emma Louise Stafford who struck up a conversation with the man, before he entered the shop.


Once he had left the shop, Stafford again started speaking with him outside and accompanied him to a nearby Co-op.


The man left the Co-op alone and walked off down the High Street before noticing that Stafford was following him as he approached the seafront near Culver Parade.


Stafford caught up with him and tried to coerce the victim into going off with her, which he refused, before she dragged him to the floor and hit him on the head repeatedly and kicked him whilst demanding money.


A member of the public ran to intervene, and in attempts to placate her, gave Stafford a £10 note in order to get her away from the victim and leave the area.


Police located Stafford around half a mile away from the scene and arrested her. On searching her, officers located a quantity of cannabis.


She was subsequently charged with attempted robbery and possession of a Class B drug.


Appearing at Newport Crown Court on 10 January this year, Stafford, of Medeway in Lake, admitted the two offences.


She appeared at the same court on Thursday 3 March where she was jailed for 32 months.


In an impact statement, the victim described how he didn’t have the strength to fight Stafford off so had to call for help, and was relieved when members of the public intervened.


He said: “I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t have helped me.”


Sentencing Stafford, His Honour Judge Melville QC said: “It is beyond the logic of any reasonable person why you did this. You made yourself attached to [the victim], an entirely innocent human being, pushed him to the ground, hit him several times and kicked him to the head.


“Eventually the police were called. You denied the offence at the police station, undermining any idea that you were feeling remorseful although you have written a letter now, which I take into account.


“This was a vulnerable human being, significantly older than you and I don’t doubt you considered him to be a soft target. You’ve had a poor start in life and experienced difficulties – none of that justified your attack on an entirely innocent human being in this case.”


DC Ross Jones, who investigated the case, said: “This was a savage and brazen attack on a small and vulnerable elderly man.


“Stafford’s monstrous behaviour was like something from a horror film, and I am glad she is behind bars.


“The bravery of this man in supporting the investigation should be commended, and I also want to thank the members of the public who came to this man’s aid and did what they could to remove Stafford from the scene.”