South Scotland

Hawick robber broke pensioner's hip

A man has been jailed after he broke an 85-year-old woman's hip in the process of robbing her of £110 she had just withdrawn from a bank in Hawick.

Portuguese national Carlos Castro de Veiga, 33, admitted carrying out the attack in the town in June.

He watched the pensioner take the money from a bank in the High Street before robbing her in Wellington Court.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court, he was told he had carried out a "cowardly attack" and was jailed for 20 months.

He grabbed the woman, pulled her to the ground and then took her handbag which contained grocery items and £110 in cash.

His victim suffered a broken hip after falling during the attack and had to be taken to Borders General Hospital for treatment.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said de Veiga had seen the woman taking out the money and "without thinking of the consequences" had snatched the bag and its contents.

"He did not mean for her to fall and cause her severe injury and has asked repeatedly how she is," he said.

"He remains devastated that he would carry out such a cruel act of violence."

'Pure greed'

The court was told de Veiga's long-term partner had ended their relationship after she found out about the offence.

Sheriff Peter Paterson told him: "This was a cowardly attack on an elderly woman.

"It had traumatic consequences for her and will have consequences for the rest of her life.

"It was pure greed on your part and there has to be a significant prison sentence."

He imposed a 30-month prison sentence reduced to 20 months due to the guilty plea, backdated to 13 June when he was remanded in custody.

However, he said he would not recommend deportation as de Veiga had been in the UK since 2004 and had an established family life here.

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