A bogus charity collector who violently robbed a pensioner in Strood has been jailed for more than six years.
Paul Stone assaulted the 80-year-old woman on her doorstep before fleeing with her purse.
Stone knocked on the victim’s door after approaching the address near North Street on 24th August 2022. When she answered, he claimed to be collecting for a charity. The victim went to fetch her purse and on her return Stone violently pushed her and she fell backwards. He grabbed the purse before running from the address.
Neighbours were quickly alerted and patrols attended the scene. Following an unsuccessful search for the offender, officers began to examine surrounding CCTV. They managed to find footage which identified Stone, who was seen holding the purse, putting some items in his pockets and throwing other contents to the floor.
The impact of Stone’s cruel actions continue to have a deep and profound impact on the victim’s daily life
The discarded items were recovered by police and identified as belonging to the victim. On the following day, a constable who had seen the CCTV stills saw the suspect in Gillingham High Street and arrested him. Paul Stone, 46, of no fixed address, was charged with robbery. On Friday 3rd March 2023 he pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and was sentenced to six years and six months’ imprisonment.
Detective Constable Emma Laimbeer, of the Kent Crime Squad, said ‘Paul Stone callously preyed upon an elderly and vulnerable victim, who he knew stood no chance in defending herself. He waited until she began to unzip her purse before assaulting her with a clenched fist, which he pushed hard into her chest causing her to fall’.