A drug addict stole a purse from an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s in broad daylight – and spent the money on cider.
John Bowen, aged 41, of Nelson Road, Edlington, pleaded guilty to the despicable theft and a number of other offences at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court.
The husband of the elderly victim said he was glad Bowen had the ‘decency’ to admit his wrongdoing at the first opportunity.
The court heard how Bowen was walking down Edlington Lane when he spotted the 75-year-old woman in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 2.
Prosecutor David Shepherd said: “Bowen saw the woman with her open bag walking down the road.
“He came up behind her, reached into the bag, grabbed her purse and ran away.
“The total value of what was the taken came to £115, which included £80 worth of cash.”
The court heard police looked through CCTV from shops and nearby businesses and later identified the defendant.
Bowen was arrested in his Edlington home and admitted his guilt to officers, telling them the purse and cards were in a bin near his property.
Mr Shepherd told the court that at the time of the offence, Bowen was on bail for an attempted theft from a car in Edlington on February 15.
The court heard that Bowen randomly targeted four vehicles causing damage and attempted to steal a CD case worth £10.
A neighbour heard the disturbance and managed to detain him until officers arrived to arrest him.
Bowen pleaded guilty to those offences in relation to the car damage and the attempted theft of the CD case.
Jason Newell, representing Bowen, said that the defendant had struggled with drink, drugs and mental health problems.
“There was no real premeditation in this offence, it was pure opportunism.
“He has a drug and alcohol problem and he is motivated to get the help that he desperately needs.”
His solicitor added that Bowen did not agree with the amount of cash that was in the victim’s purse, saying there was £15 rather than £80.
Mr Newell said that Bowen bought two bottles of cider and that £8.86 was left from what was taken from the purse.
Bowen was remanded in custody and proceedings were adjourned until Thursday, March 24 for a pre-sentence report.