Mugger and accomplice are behind bars

A PENSIONER mugger and his young accomplice from Essex are behind bars after being found guilty of robbing and seriously injuring an 82-year-old spinster.

A PENSIONER mugger and his young accomplice from Essex are behind bars after being found guilty of robbing and seriously injuring an 82-year-old spinster.

Peter Georgeades, 66, of Eileen Anderson Court, Victoria, London and

Ben Fehily, 22, of Felix Park, Kelvedon, deliberately chose a "pension Thursday" to target a sub post office's elderly customers.

While a woman driver remained in the car the two men kept watch for likely victims. As soon as Patricia Holman left the post office in Victoria 15 minutes later clutching her handbag, the men followed her as she headed home.

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When she turned into a narrow alleyway, Cypriot-born Georgeades, stopped at the entrance. Fehily, who at 20 stone was nearly three times the weight of his 5ft 2ins victim, then attacked her from behind and hurled her to the ground, London's Southwark Crown Court was told.

The court heard that her handbag, containing her pension of just over £70, another £30 in cash, her glasses and other items, was never recovered.

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The fall shattered Miss Holman's hip and as she cried in pain one of her assailants snatched her handbag containing the pension she had just collected.

The jury was told Miss Holman was taken to hospital where surgeons diagnosed multiple fractures of her left hip.

Georgeades and Fehily escaped in a getaway car driven by a female partner in crime. But they and the vehicle were captured on CCTV yards from the attack.

Within hours police found the red Vauxhall Nova and arrested both the driver and the younger man.

Georgeades was detained shortly afterwards at his home in a retirement block just around the corner from the robbery.

All three were charged with robbery but the case against the woman was subsequently dropped for legal reasons. Neither men gave evidence, relying instead on their police interview protestations of mistaken identity.

But a jury unanimously convicted them of robbery on April 18 last year.

Their only reaction was to later giggle as the prosecution read out their previous convictions.

Recorder Michael Hunter adjourned sentence until August 8 for reports.

Remanding both in custody, he warned: "I have in mind the sort of sentence the public would demand here. It is a very substantial prison sentence."

Bartholomew O'Toole, prosecuting, said both defendants had been in trouble before.

Fehily had appeared in court on five previous occasions, involving some 17 offences, most of them for motoring matters. His last conviction, however, was for possessing cocaine and heroin.

Georgeades, said the barrister, notched up his first conviction in 1957 and in the decades that followed made a further 22 court appearances.

Mr O'Toole said of the 46 offences recorded against him, robbery and other offences of violence were predominant. He had served numerous prison sentences.

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