Sanchez Edwards jailed at last for horrific Hoxton robbery of 92-year-old widow
PUBLISHED: 15:14 07 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 07 March 2018
A dangerous addict who dragged a 92-year-old woman along the pavement during a horrific robbery has finally been jailed after his sentencing was delayed five times.
Sanchez Edwards, 28, was today locked up for five years and eight months. He will begin his sentence at hospital under supervision and doctors will decide when he is ready to serve the remainder of his time in prison.
The attack happened in broad daylight on June 27 last year. The woman was walking along Hoxton Street when Edwards, who had followed her, grabbed her bag and tried to wrestle it off her.
The woman screamed and refused to let go of her bag and Edwards dragged her along the floor until she was in so much pain that she let go. She was left with severe bruising all over her body and several cracked ribs.
With Edwards at large it was revealed he was a violent criminal with a prolific history of drug use who had failed to return to Homerton’s John Howard Centre medium-secure unit after being let out on unescorted leave in May.
Edwards, who has paranoid schizophrenia, was caught in July in Bethnal Green.
In a statement read out at Wood Green Crown Court today, the victim told how she was “too afraid” to leave her house after the attack, saying she is a “shadow of her former self”.
She has recurring nightmares and still cannot sleep due to the pain she is in. She had recently lost her husband of 68 years.
Edwards will only be released with the agreement of the parole board and will have to serve “at least two-thirds of his sentence”. Judge Joanna Greenburg also imposed an extra three years on licence after his sentence is up.
She told Edwards: “You cannot have failed to realise she was elderly. She was dragged for two metres. You then ran off. The CCTV shows you have followed her, clearly targeting her as she was elderly. The offence is so serious that an immediate custodial sentence is the only option.”
Judge Greenburg also said there was a significant risk Edwards would commit further offences and cause serious harm to one or more persons.
Det Insp Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, said: “This has been an extremely emotive case with scores of officers working relentlessly to identify and hunt down this dangerous attacker.
“The lady has lived her entire life unscathed, yet Edwards’ brutal and callous actions have destroyed this in an instant.”
Speaking about CCTV footage, Det Insp Ridley added: “Edwards can be seen prowling behind the unsuspecting victim for around 15 minutes, transfixed and waiting for his opportunity to strike away from the busy streets.
“Then without warning, he hauls the terrified victim to the ground, dragging her along the pavement with such force that he inflicts appalling injuries.
“At no time throughout these proceedings has he ever offered an explanation for his actions, taken responsibility or shown any empathy or compassion towards the victim.”