‘Cowardly’ Derbyshire criminal jailed after robbing 85-year-old woman – who was left ‘shaken’ by ‘opportunistic attack’

A ‘cowardly’ Derbyshire man was jailed this week after the ‘opportunistic’ robbery of an elderly woman.

Sunday, 31st July 2022, 12:01 pm
Updated Sunday, 31st July 2022, 12:01 pm

Jacob Harper, 31, was caught on camera as he leaned from his bike and grabbed the handbag of an 85-year-old woman – sending her tumbling to the ground.

Harper, of Milton Street in Ilkeston, was seen cycling around Eastwood town centre on CCTV before the attack in Nottingham Road on October 8 2021.

In the weeks after the incident, Nottinghamshire Police shared a public appeal, which included a close-up image of Harper taken in a betting shop shortly before the incident.

Harper initially denied the crime - but later admitted his guilt.

Harper himself later called the force control room to identify himself from the image but protest his innocence. Fortunately, the woman was not injured in the attack, but she was left badly shaken by what happened.

During his police interview, Harper also accepted that it was him shown on CCTV riding a silver Carrera bicycle, but denied he was on the bike at the time of the robbery.

He continued his denials even when it was pointed out that he was wearing the same trainers and distinctive ripped jeans in his police interview as the robber.

Harper later pleaded guilty to one count of robbery. Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday, July 29, he was jailed for a total of two years and eleven months.

Detective Constable Hollie Fothergill, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a cowardly and opportunistic attack on an elderly woman who was simply doing her shopping.

“Harper, who clearly identified her as an easy target, left her sprawled on the ground and could very easily have caused her serious injury.

“His actions that day were reprehensible, and I am pleased he has now been brought to justice.”