Sentencing of Hoxton robber Sanchez Edwards adjourned for FIFTH time – over lack of beds at secure unit
PUBLISHED: 15:18 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 31 January 2018
Sentencing of a “dangerous” addict who dragged a 92-year-old woman along the pavement during a robbery has been delayed for a fifth time – because there are no beds for him at the psychiatric hospital he will be treated at.
Sanchez Edwards, 28, admitted robbing the frail widow as she made her way to the Lawson Medical Centre off Hoxton Street, on June 27 last year.
He was supposed to be sentenced on October 26 but Judge Joanna Greenberg ordered a psychiatric report.
Sentencing was then supposed to take place on December 7, December 20, January 8, and today – but no beds have been available at the medium secure mental health hospital in Hertfordshire where he is earmarked to go.
And there is no guarantee there will be any beds when he is next in court in five weeks’ time.
Today Judge Joanna Greenberg said she wanted to impose a sentence under section 45a, which is often referred to as a “hybrid order”.
It is designed to ensure convicted offenders who could normally expect to attract a long custodial sentence do not end up serving significantly less time in the secure mental health system, but are also not denied access to necessary treatment for their disorder.
It would mean Edwards would be treated in hospital “for as long as doctors consider necessary”, and then transferred to prison for the remainder of his sentence.
“That’s dependant on there being a bed available at any sort of hospital, but there isn’t,” said Judge Greenberg.
“I will adjourn the matter until March 7 in the hope there’s a bed. If not we can’t keep this going on forever.”
She added: “On the face of it according to the evidence he is overwhelmingly a dangerous offender. The question is whether he’s dangerous because of mental health issues or if he’s just plain dangerous.”
Edwards, a paranoid schizophrenic whose condition is exacerbated by the use of cannabis, had been missing from the John Howard medium secure unit in Kenworthy Road since May.
His victim suffered severe bruising and was left with cracked ribs, a limp and ongoing anxiety.
Det Insp Paul Ridley told the Gazette: “This has been a truly horrific ordeal for the elderly victim, both physically and psychologically, as demonstrated in her extremely moving impact statement. The judge has clearly recognised the acute danger that Edwards poses to the public, and that public protection is a priority.”