Bag snatcher from Widnes jailed
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A 32-year-old man from Widnes has been jailed after snatching handbags from two women in the town.
Anthony Parton, of Deacon Road, left one of the victims, a woman in her 40s, needing to go to hospital with a back injury and subsequently unable to walk unaided.
He grabbed hold of her handbag as she walked along Coronet Way shortly after 5.30pm on Monday 27 July.
The victim refused to let go of it, and lost her footing when Parton was attempting to yank the bag from her grasp.
The fall caused her back injury.
She also sustained minor injuries to her wrist and thigh as a result of the incident.
Parton managed to pull the bag away from the victim whilst she lay on the ground.
He then ran off in the direction of Royal Avenue.
Parton also ran away after snatching a handbag from the other victim, a woman in her 70s, as she walked along Henderson Road shortly after 8am on Wednesday 22 July.
On that occasion he fled towards Mottershead Road.
In both instances Parton walked up to the victims from behind before grabbing hold of their bags.
He subsequently dumped the bags after taking the small quantities of cash that were inside them.
The bags were both found and handed into the police.
Officers at Widnes Local Policing Unit (LPU) also gathered CCTV footage regarding both incidents.
One of the officers identified Parton as the offender from the footage.
He was located and arrested on Tuesday 28 July and a warrant was executed at an address in Widnes he had been living at.
Items of clothing that CCTV footage captured him wearing during the incidents were seized from the address.
Cell site data regarding Parton’s mobile phone also indicated that he was the offender.
He refused to answer any questions when interviewed in custody.
Parton was charged with robbery in relation to the incident on Monday 27 July and theft from a person in relation to the bag snatch the previous Wednesday.
He pleaded guilty to the offences and was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday 6 April.
Parton was jailed for four years and ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
Detective Constable Nicola Dolan, who led the investigation at Widnes LPU, said: “Anthony Parton subjected the victims, who are both from Widnes, to frightening ordeals.
“His actions left them both extremely shaken up.
“They also left the younger victim needing to go to hospital with a back injury and unable to walk unaided.
“Thankfully, we were able to establish that Parton was the man responsible for both bag snatching incidents from CCTV footage, mobile phone analysis and items of clothing we seized from an address he had been living at.
“With the strength of the evidence we gathered against him, we were always confident that he would plead guilty to the offences he was charged with.
“I hope the fact that he is now behind bars facing the consequences of his actions provides the victims with some closure.
“I also hope that this case deters others from committing such offences.”