Jail for female mugger (26) who targeted plucky 70-year-old

JAILED: MIchelle Turner (S)
JAILED: MIchelle Turner (S)

A WOMAN mugger who sank her teeth into a pensioner’s hand as she tried to steal his bag in a Burnley street is behind bars.

Hairdresser turned heroin addict Michelle Turner (26) targeted 70-year-old Henry Schofield near his home at 8-40 a.m. in a desperate bid to get cash to fund her habit.

She had asked him the time, demanded money, and then bit him as she tried to wrestle his bag from him, the town’s crown court heard.

A motorist stopped on seeing the struggle, but drove off after Turner claimed she was the victim. She eventually made off empty-handed after the pensioner refused to let go of his belongings.

The hearing was told the victim was left bleeding from a puncture wound and had to have tetanus and hepatitis B injections and blood tests. After his ordeal, he told police he would wake in the night and was scared he might see his assailant again.

Turner, who has a record for drunken offences and has assaulted a police officer and shopkeeper, admitted attempted robbery, on May 29th. The defendant, of Brush Street, Burnley, was jailed for 32 months.

Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said the victim was walking up Accrington Old Road when he was approached by the defendant. She asked the time and claimed she needed some bus fare to get home.

Mr Schofield told her he did not have any money. The victim crossed the road, Turner followed and told the victim: “I want some money off you.” She then started to pull at Mr Schofield’s bag.

Turner grabbed hold of the victim’s arm and bit his right hand. He still refused to let go of his bag.

The defendant was arrested the next day after police forced entry into her home as she was hiding.

After the robbery attempt, Mr Schofield was scared when he saw young women, couldn’t move his thumb and fingers for three days and still had problems picking things up. He told police he got nervous when he awoke in the night.

Mr Richard Taylor (defending) said the bad influences on her life had been alcohol, the men with whom she associated and, most significantly, heroin. She was now on methadone.

Mr Taylor added: “This was borne out of desperation, of a young lady using heroin, having no funds and desperate for money. She says simply it was a moment of madness.”

Sentencing, Judge Jonathan Gibson said Turner’s behaviour was probably somewhat impulsive. He added: “Nonetheless, it was a very deliberate act.”