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Martin Spencer admits robbing woman, 98, in Marks and Spencer

By Paul Hooper

A 98-year-old woman left with several broken bones after she was mugged in Marks and Spencer has had her life ruined by the terrifying ordeal, a judge has said.

The frail pensioner is still in hospital six weeks after the robbery, which was captured on CCTV at the store in St George’s Street, Canterbury.

She was floored in the attack, suffering a number of severe fractures, Canterbury Crown Court heard.

The CCTV image of Martin Spencer was circulated by police
The CCTV image of Martin Spencer was circulated by police

The man who targeted her - 61-year-old Martin Spencer - has admitted robbery and is now facing a "significant" prison sentence.

Judge Catherine Brown said the ordeal has had lasting effects on the disabled victim.

"The consequences for the victim are devastating," she told Spencer.

"She was a very elderly lady who suffered severe fractures and her life has been ruined by your actions.

"She is lucky she survived and what independence she had has been taken away."

The court was told Spencer, of St Peter's Place, Canterbury, robbed the woman of her handbag at 2.35pm on Tuesday, July 31.

As she desperately tried to hold onto her bag, which was in a trolley, she fell to the floor, causing her injuries.

The woman was robbed at Marks and Spencer in St George’s Street, Canterbury
The woman was robbed at Marks and Spencer in St George’s Street, Canterbury

Spencer returned and offered to help her as she lay on the ground.

Police circulated a CCTV image of him a week after the robbery and he was arrested shortly after.

Footage of the incident will be shown to the judge when Spencer is sentenced so she can assess the "degree of force" used during the robbery.

The judge added: “There might have been a lot of force or there may have been littler force and that could be quite significant as to your culpability.

“But you should be under no illusion that this is a very serious offence and I will have no choice other than to sentence you to a significant period of imprisonment.”

Spencer's barrister, Jason Dunn-Shaw, said he had recently been diagnosed with a lung condition and was receiving medical treatment.

He was released on bail pending a probation report and will be sentenced in October.

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