A judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to four and a half years in prison this week for mugging a 90-year-old. The only reason he was ever caught is because his mother saw what he had done and immediately turned him in.
Sheldon Woodford, of Bournemouth, Dorest, attempted to steal the bag of Betty Aldworth last December. In the process of the attack, Woodford grabbed Aldworth’s bag and pushed her to the group—injuring her shoulder and knee.
Woodford pleaded guilty to robbery in the Bournemouth Crown Court.
Defense attorney Les Smith told the court Woodford was high on Clockwork Orange, a cannabis-like legal high, during the attack and felt ashamed he mugged the elderly woman.
“He was tearful at the incident, he was tearful at the police station, he was tearful to the probation officer and he was tearful in conference,” Smith said in court.
Police eventually located Woodford on Jan. 2 after his mother saw security camera photos of her son fleeing the scene.
“CCTV (security camera photos) was circulated through an appeal for witnesses, and it is right to say that this defendant’s mother contacted police on January 2 and named him as the person responsible,” said prosecutor Kerry Maylin to the Bournemouth Crown Court.
Prosecutors said Woodford had nine pervious convictions for 26 crimes, five of which include robbery.
Smith said Woodford fell back into a drug habit after moving in with an acquaintance.
“He came back to Bournemouth to live with a friend who had been released from prison and both descended into further drug misuse,” Smith said.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Peter Johnson said he thinks Woodford committed a "cowardly, despicable act" by mugging the elderly woman.
“That injury is still causing her pain," he said. "The sentence of this court must be a severe one."