John Howard Centre patient Sanchez Edwards admits robbery of 92-year-old woman in Hoxton street

Sanchez Edwards pleaded guilty.

Sanchez Edwards pleaded guilty. - Credit: Archant

A violent drug addict has admitted robbing a 92-year-old woman in Hoxton after absconding from the John Howard Centre while on unescorted leave.

The woman's leg after being dragged down the road.

The woman's leg after being dragged down the road. - Credit: Archant

Sanchez Edwards, 28, left the pensioner with horrendous bruising, several cracked ribs and devastating emotional trauma when he attacked her in Hoxton Street at 2.40pm on June 27.

He followed the recently-widowed woman into an alley and then dragged her along the pavement screaming and shouting as she tried to stop him yanking her handbag off her.

She suffered bruising all over her body and was left with several cracked ribs and a limp. On top of that, she is too terrified to leave her home and has recurring nightmares about the attack.

Edwards, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to robbery today at Wood Green Crown Court.

The widow suffered severe bruising.

The widow suffered severe bruising. - Credit: Archant

The paranoid schizophrenic had been a patient at the medium secure unit in Homerton since January last year and was later convicted and sentenced to an unrestricted hospital order for attacking a member of hospital staff.

But when he failed to return to the centre in May no appeals were made to trace him. Only after the robbery did the Met release CCTV footage of him as part of a national media drive to track him down.

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He was seen on buses and travelling on the Underground and on July 10 police eventually spotted him in Bethnal Green Gardens and arrested him following a foot chase.

Dete Insp Paul Ridley, from Hackney CID, said: “Edwards’ attack has had a harrowing effect on his victim.

“In addition to the physical injuries, there is also the emotional impact and she still suffers from anxiety and recurring nightmares, and remains terrified of leaving her home, the attack stripping her of her independence.

“To compound the devastating consequences of this crime, this lady was married for more than 60 years and her husband recently died. She misses him dearly and was his carer for the last decade.

“I would like to thank the public for all the assistance they provided throughout this case and the heartfelt messages of support for the victim.

“I truly hope this conviction offers a degree of closure for the victim and she is able to rebuild her life.”