Derby

Zofija Kaczan death: Woman, 100, 'killed by bag snatcher'

Zofija Kaczan Image copyright PA
Image caption Zofija Kaczan's neck was fractured when her handbag was snatched

A 100-year-old woman who died when her neck was broken in a bag snatch was a "vulnerable, easy target" for a man "desperate for money", a court heard.

Zofija Kaczan, who is originally from Poland, died on 6 June last year, more than a week after being attacked from behind in the Normanton area of Derby.

Artur Waszkiewicz, 40, of Wolfa Street in the city, denies manslaughter and robbery.

Derby Crown Court heard Mrs Kaczan was attacked as she made her way to church.

Prosecutor Kate Brunner QC told the jury the attack happened near the victim's home in Empress Road, Normanton, on 28 May.

"Small, on her own, vulnerable, an easy target you might think for a man desperate for money," she said.

Ms Brunner said Mrs Kaczan told police she was attacked from behind by someone she did not see and hit on the back of the head or neck.

"She was knocked to the ground and her green handbag was taken from her arm," she added.

The force used in the attack was so great that a green handle on the victim's handbag was ripped off, the court was told.

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

Two NHS workers found Mrs Kaczan steadying herself on a nearby car and walked her to the nearby St Maximilian Kolbe Polish Catholic Church from where she was taken to hospital.

She died from pneumonia in hospital - a condition which would only have been brought on by the injuries sustained in the attack, jurors were told.

Ms Brunner said there was CCTV of Mrs Kaczan walking along Empress Road towards the junction of St Chad's Road, but no footage of the attack.

However, a reflection of a shape was caught on CCTV in the window of a house which the prosecution argues was the reflection of Mr Waszkiewicz leaving and going back to his car after the robbery.

The court heard the green handbag was later recovered in nearby Moore Street, with no cash, but with Mr Waszkiewicz's fingerprint on a receipt.

The prosecution alleged that after the incident, the defendant changed his appearance and the insurance details of the car he was driving to distance himself from the attack.

The trial continues.

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