Mugging victim’s plea after attack

Police in Harrogate
Police in Harrogate
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A distraught woman who was the victim of a brutal mugging for just £6 has spoken of her fear after the savage attack in Harrogate.

The 28-year-old, who has asked not to be named, was targeted as she walked along brightly-lit Princes Square just before midnight on Saturday.

She had been walking arm in arm with a friend - an off-duty policewoman - when she was attacked from behind.

“Suddenly, from nowhere, my bag was snatched out of my hand,” she said, speaking to the Advertiser after the mugging. “It was so quick and he was just off. I kicked off my heels and ran straight after him, but he vanished near the Hotel du Vin.

“The way he ripped the bag from me was quite vicious - and premeditated. What would he have done if I hadn’t let go?”

The woman’s Guess handbag, iPhone and car keys were later found dumped in the garden of a nearby estate agent.

Her purse and cards were found discarded in a bin in the nearby Library Gardens and returned to her by an honest council worker.

Her attacker had gotten away with just £6 in cash.

“I don’t feel safe anywhere now, if that’s happening in Harrogate,” she said. “I’m usually quite a confident woman, now I feel so unsure.

“I’ve been on my own on that street so many times before and not felt frightened. Harrogate is somewhere I feel secure.

“My concern now is that he’s going to strike again. He’s obviously quite gutsy about it.”

The woman and her friend, along with their husbands, had been for a meal at The Square restaurant earlier that evening.

The attack happened when the men left to go to a cash machine, as the women walked towards Pitcher and Piano for drinks after dinner.

“Normally I’m very aware of strangers, but I was so relaxed as it’s Harrogate,” said her friend, an off-duty officer for West Yorkshire Police.

“I wouldn’t walk down dark streets on my own - I’m no Robocop and I’m not stupid.

“But everybody was walking around. It was a quarter to midnight, it wasn’t late at all.”

CCTV footage later showed that the man, described as being about 5’8in tall and of a slim build, had been following the pair for about 20 metres.

Any witnesses, in particular a couple who stopped to help, are asked to call Harrogate Police on 101.