‘Dangerous’ AWOL John Howard psychiatric patient wanted for mugging widow, 92, in Hoxton spotted at tube station
- Credit: Archant
Police frantically trying to locate a “dangerous” paranoid schizophrenic wanted in connection with the violent robbery of a 92-year-old widow have released new images of her “alarming and harrowing” injuries.
CCTV images have also been released of a man believed to be Sanchez Edwards at Bethnal Green London Underground Station on Monday who had just got off a train.
Edwards failed to return to Homerton’s John Howard Centre in Kenworthy Road seven weeks ago after being given an hour’s unescorted leave.
But no appeal was ever issued to try and find him because he was deemed “medium risk”, and detectives are now frantically trying to trace him over a horrific mugging.
Officers released CCTV footage on Friday showing a pensioner being dragged along the ground screaming, as a hooded robber wrenched her bag off her in broad daylight on Tuesday last week.
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The recently-widowed victim had just popped out to post a letter and was headed to the Lawson Medical Centre off Hoxton Street when she was attacked from behind in the grounds.
Footage shows the robber using so much force the woman, who recently lost her husband of nearly 70 years, is pulled to the ground where she struck her head.
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Her family have described how her doctor was shocked to discover the extent of her injuries – which include cracked ribs because of the force she was dragged along the floor.
She is in “excruciating” pain and one of her legs is entirely bruised as well as her hip and stomach.
Det Insp Paul Ridley from Hackney CID who is leading the investigation said her injuries are “alarming and harrowing”.
The lady remains extremely distraught, will not leave the house as she is terrified and has re-occurring nightmares of her ordeal,” he said.
Officers have been so moved by her ordeal they delivered flowers, a card and gifts to her home address, assisted by a supermarket.
Police officers are on alert including the British Transport Police to locate Edwards, and Det Insp Ridley reiterated his warning to anyone who might see him.
“He is a violent, dangerous and unpredictable individual,” he said.
“Please do not approach him, but call 999 if seen.
“The further time that elapses, the heightened risk Edwards is to members of the public as he becomes increasingly desperate. He may commit offences to fuel his drug addiction.”
Anyone with details of Sanchez Edwards whereabouts is asked to contact Hackney CID via 101 quoting operation name Brunton or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.