Heartless thief stole elderly woman's purse and three rings at Sheffield church luncheon club

A heartless thief stole an elderly woman’s purse with cash and a sentimental engagement ring when he struck at a luncheon club.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 2:13 pm
Sheffield Magistrates' Court

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard on December 11 how Christopher Henighan, aged 42, of Charter Row, Sheffield city centre, snatched the purse after it had been left on a stage at a church luncheon club in Sheffield.

Prosecuting solicitor Rob Coyne said: “He admitted the offence with a guilty plea saying he found the purse outside the luncheon club which was not accepted.

“The victim had placed the handbag on the stage in the church and the victim was having her lunch and when she went to get her bag it was missing.”

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Jobless Henighan pleaded guilty to stealing the purse with £250 of cash and three rings valued at an estimated £3,000 after the theft on June 11.

The heartbroken 74-year-old victim stated one of the stolen rings had been an engagement ring that reminded her of her late husband and it had enormous sentimental value.

Mr Coyne added that the purse had been recovered but not the contents and Henighan tested positive for cocaine while he was being processed by the police.

Joanna Robinson, defending, said Henighan’s physical appearance has changed and he is getting a handle on a serious crack addiction which had been behind his offending.

Ms Robinson added Henighan is on a methadone prescription and is getting help through support group Addaction and he has a psychiatric appointment.

District Judge Naomi Redhouse committed the case to Sheffield Crown Court for sentencing on January 3.