Elderly man violently mugged in Highbury by ‘apologetic’ robber

The 79-year-old victim of the attack in Hamilton Park speaks to the Gazette about his ordeal.

A 79-year-old man violently mugged on his way home from the shop by an “apologetic” robber has spoken of his ordeal.

The victim, who did not want to be named, initially feared he would be strangled when his attacker grabbed him from behind and locked his arm around his throat in the attack in Hamilton Park, Highbury.

But after the pensioner, who had just been to Highbury Barn, shouted that he was choking, the culprit loosened his grip and began rummaging through his pockets, stealing �50.

And throughout the attack at around 6pm on January 18, the robber continually apologised, claiming he needed to feed his children.

Speaking to the Gazette, the victim, who has lived in Highbury for the past 40 years, said: “I’ve got very dodgy legs and was having a rest when suddenly, out of the blue, an arm went right round my throat.

“I was trying to get loose and in the end I shouted at him: ‘let me go you’re choking me’ and he let go, but he stopped me from turning back towards him with one arm while he went through my pockets. I couldn’t do a thing.”

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The grandfather continued: “All the time he kept saying: ‘sorry, but I’ve got to feed my children.’ He spoke very softly – I got the impression he really was in the situation he said he was in, but it might have been his act.

The victim managed to walk home and his wife called the police before he was taken to hospital as a precaution.

He added: “My wife said straight away that I shouldn’t go out after dark again, and I wouldn’t be keen to anyway. In that respect, I’ve lost a bit of my freedom.”

Investigating officer, Det Con Russell Knight, said: “This was a particularly callous and cowardly attack on an elderly man who was targeted for his vulnerability. I appeal to anyone who knows who this man is or indeed for the suspect himself to hand himself in to police.”

The culprit is described as a muscular and softly spoken black man wearing dark clothes with a flash of orange on the sleeves.

Anyone with information should contact police on 020 7421 0250 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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