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A violent drug addict with paranoid schizophrenia has admitted to the brutal robbery of a 92-year-old woman in Hackney.

The victim had been to post a letter and turned off Hoxton Street into an alleyway leading to a medical centre when she was attacked from behind by Sanchez Edwards, 28, who had followed her.

Edwards tried to pull her handbag away from her and pulled her to the ground. The victim refused to let go of her bag and Edwards dragged her along the ground until she was in so much pain that she let go.

Edwards ran away with the bag after the attack in the grounds of the medical centre at around 2.40pm on Tuesday, June 27.

The victim suffered extensive bruising all over her body, especially on her legs, ribs and side where she had been dragged. She was left with several cracked rips and a limp.

On Friday, June 30, police released CCTV footage of the robbery and photographs of the victim’s injuries.

The victim's injuries
The victim's injuries

Several people identified the suspect as Edwards, and police discovered he was a patient at a medium-secure psychiatric facility in Hackney.

A paranoid schizophrenic with a history of illicit drug use, Edwards had failed to return from unescorted leave on May 17.

A Crimestoppers reward of £5,000 was offered for information leading to his capture, and images were released from various sightings along with warnings to the public not to approach him.

Edwards was spotted by police near to Bethnal Green Gardens on Monday, July 10. He ran away but was chased and arrested. He refused to answer any questions when interviewed and was charged with the robbery on Monday, July 17.

Edwards, of no fixed address, admitted the offence at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday, August 15. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, October 10.

Detective Inspector Paul Ridley from Hackney CID said: “Edward’s attack has had a harrowing effect on his victim.

“In addition to the physical injuries she suffered, there is also the emotional impact and she still suffers from anxiety, re-occurring nightmares and remains terrified of leaving her home, the attack stripping her of her independence.

“To compound the devastating consequences of this crime, this lady was married for more than 60-years and her husband recently died. She misses him dearly and was his carer for the last decade.

“I would like to thank the public for all the assistance they provided throughout this case and the heartfelt messages of support for the victim

“The excellent quality of the CCTV footage assisted us in making the vital breakthrough and identifying Edwards as the robber.

“I truly hope this conviction offers a degree of closure for the victim and she is able to re-build her life.”

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