Church support as frail Melksham woman, 86, mugged walking home from service

PCSO Helen Wilson outside Melksham United Church. An 86-year-old woman was mugged shortly after attending a service there

PCSO Helen Wilson outside Melksham United Church. An 86-year-old woman was mugged shortly after attending a service there

First published in Melksham
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A frail 86-year-old woman was left shocked after she was mugged as she walked home from church on Sunday.

The pensioner, who uses a walking frame to help her get around, had just left Melksham United Church and was making her way down Spa Road at 12.13pm.

A man approached her and grabbed her handbag, almost knocking her to the ground.

PCSO Helen Wilson, from Melksham Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “She was very shaken.

“She had her bag grabbed from behind, pulling her off her walker which almost sent her to the ground.

“Then he just made off towards the town centre.”

The woman was not injured in the attack and is now recovering at home.

Church minister, the Rev Cathy Arscott, said the whole congregation had shown their support.

“It’s an awful thing to have happened, but there has been a lot of care, and her friends from the church have been looking after her,” she said.

“It was immediately after the service, and some friends had walked with her part of the way, when she said she would be all right to go the rest of the way by herself.

“It was terrible when we heard – this was in the middle of the day on a Sunday on quite a busy street.

“What really worries me is that it will make older people frightened to go out, which shouldn’t be the case.

“It could have happened to any of us, but when it’s somebody that’s elderly it makes it that much worse.”

PCSO Wilson said: “It’s in the early stages of the investigation, but we do have a description. The man was white, in his late 20s, and wearing a light blue and grey hooded top.

“We’ve put out a witness appeal on our Facebook page. Anyone with any information can contact us on 101, or anonymously via Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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