Hungry thief admits mugging OAP in Motherwell

Postman Brian O'Neill, second right,  who helped catch the mugger, with colleagues at Motherwell sorting office.
Postman Brian O'Neill, second right, who helped catch the mugger, with colleagues at Motherwell sorting office.
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A man who mugged a pensioner at a Motherwell underpass claimed he snatched her handbag because he needed to feed himself.

Gerard Wright told passers-by who chased and caught him: “I’m sorry. I only took it to get food.”

Later, when quizzed by police officers, he admitted: “I’m disgusted with myself.”

Wright (23), a prisoner, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court today and admitted robbing the 86-year-old woman in Merry Street on April 22.

She ended up in hospital after falling to the ground during the struggle and cutting her head.

Wright was caught after postman Brian O’Neill spotted him running away with the handbag. He gave chase and was joined by other passers-by.

The mugger was caught a short distance away.

At the time former soldier Brian told the Times & Speaker: “He was carrying a handbag with a loose strap and I knew right away he must have stolen it.

“I just went into tunnel vision and focused on him. I shot straight across the road and followed him behind the shops in Merry Street.

“I would do the same again as I hate that sort of thing happening to a pensioner. I used to be in the army and I still have a decent level of fitness. This job keeps you in shape too!”

Imran Bashir, prosecuting, told the court the handbag was returned to the pensioner. She was allowed home from hospital after her head wound was treated.

Defence agent Steven Lilly said Wright has ‘a complicated mental health background’.

Sheriff Vincent Smith called for background reports and deferred sentence until July 14.

Wright, who has been in custody since his arrest, will remain behind bars.

More from the court in the Times & Speaker every week.