'Shock' after woman, 100, has neck broken during handbag theft

Monika Zareba and Maria Wojtczak
Image caption Monika Zareba and Maria Wojtczak said they cannot believe what happened to their 100-year-old friend

The friends of a 100-year-old woman who was left with a broken neck during an attack by a handbag thief have said they are "shocked and scared".

The victim was pushed to the floor near the junction of St Chad's Road and Empress Road, in Normanton, Derby, on Monday morning.

Police said she was "unable to defend herself" during the "despicable crime".

The woman, who was on the her way to a nearby Polish church, is in a stable condition and recovering in hospital.

Image copyright Derbyshire Police
Image caption The stolen handbag was found a few hundred yards away from the attack

The woman also suffered bruising to her face, but her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

The victim's friends Monika Zareba and Maria Wojtczak said: "You didn't think something like this could happen to old people.

"It shouldn't happen. We can't believe it... shocked."

The stolen green bag was found a few hundred yards away at the junction of Normanton Road and Moore Street.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The woman was pushed over near the junction of St Chad's Road and Empress Road

Det Insp Chris Whiteley said: "It really is a despicable crime.

"We have an elderly, vulnerable victim, who's been attacked from behind and she's sustained quite significant and nasty injuries as part of this."

Police have appealed for anyone who may have CCTV or dashcam footage of the attack or seen anyone carrying the bag to contact them.

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