Police have released an image of a battered elderly victim after she was set upon by a gang of four muggers.
The 79-year-old victim was so scared by her ordeal that she remained housebound for a number of days and didn’t even report it to police for fear of the robbers finding her.
Her ordeal began after she had visited Tesco on Mancunian Way, Haughton Green. She believes this at around 11am in the first few days of 2014, but she cannot narrow-it down any further due to the time that has elapsed.
As she walked down this road she was approached by four men, one of which asked her for a cigarette. She said she didn’t have any so they asked her for money. They then rifled through the victims pockets before punching her a number of times to her head, knocking her to her knees. While on her knees they continued to punch her before running off onto the playing fields at the rear of Mancunian Road. Nothing was stolen.
The victim suffered extensive bruising but managed to walk home, where she stayed for five days, fearful of a repeat attack.
When her daughter visited her on the fifth day she saw the horrific bruises and posted a picture of them on Facebook, appealing for help in catching her attackers.
Officers based at Hyde saw the post, made a number of inquiries, and managed to trace the victim. The ringleader of the offenders was described as possibly mixed race with a lighter coloured face, 5ft 11in tall in his mid 20s with short black cropped hair and a slim build. He was wearing reddish gloves similar to rubber kitchen gloves, mud-splattered jeans and a coat.
A second offender was white, pale and described as thuggish-looking. He was shorter, appeared to be in his late teens more muscular build and was also wearing green rubber gloves. The other two offenders were also white, in their early teens and were described as looking similar in the face.
Detective Inspector Richard Ennis, from Tameside Police, said: “This poor victim was so distraught by what happened that she essentially shut herself away from the world, fearing that these horrible muggers would find her. Thankfully her daughter paid her a visit and was at least able to offer some solace of comfort. I understand why she didn’t want to tell anyone about what happened and she must have felt extremely vulnerable. I would, however, always encourage anyone who has been a victim of crime to call the police.”
“We have ways of protecting your identity and can provide professional support to victims and witnesses.”
“These young men ruthlessly beat a lone elderly woman. Two of them appear to be quite young, but they were clearly led by two older men.”
“I also want to appeal direct to both the offenders and their families – please look at the picture and imagine it’s your own grandma or mum. You wouldn’t want your loved ones to end up like this.”
“If you feel uneasy by what happened then please call the police, anonymously if necessary.”
“Horrific unprovoked attacks like this are rare in Haughton Green and I want to reassure residents that we are doing all we can to bring the offenders to justice.
“I also want to praise the officers for their dogged determination to trace the victim. Thanks to their hard work we are now able to reassure her that we are doing everything in our power to catch the offenders.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Hyde Police Station on 0161 856 9484 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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