A PRESTWICH man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after mugging an elderly woman returning home after receiving her Covid-19 jab.

Lovemore Mandega, of Church Drive, Prestwich, followed his victim to her address on Rectory Green, Whitefield, before grabbing her handbag following a struggle with the 78-year-old, who then chased after her attacker.

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Lisa Boocock, prosecuting, described how on March 28, Marion Barlow was approaching the communal entrance to her block of flats when the masked defendant told her to give him her handbag.

She managed to get inside but Mandega, 42, grabbed the bag and ripped it from the handles before running off with Mrs Barlow in pursuit.

Mandgea escaped and used her stolen bank card in a corner shop before throwing the bag away and getting on a tram.

A short time later Mandega was seen by officers on Bury New Road and a chase ensued during which the defendant armed himself with a brick, forcing officers to deploy a Taser and use a baton while trying to arrest him.

Mandega escaped but following a police appeal in the Bury Times he was arrested on April 4 after he was recognised by a neighbour.

Ms Boocock added that Mandega, who pleaded guilty to robbery, fraud and two counts of assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest, had no previous convictions.

Michael James, defending, said: “Drugs is the underlying factor in this case and my client says he was really not thinking sensibly.

“He has now stopped using drugs while in custody for two months and he had managed to stay out of offending until now.

“He has had a taste of custody now and assures everybody that he will not be getting back into trouble and will stay away from drugs.”

Sentencing, Mandega, Recorder Kate Batty, said: “What happened to Mrs Barlow must have been petrifying for her.

“That was supposed to be a day of celebration for her because she was going home having received her Covid-19 vaccination.

“That is a day we all look forward to and she was in a position to be going home to celebrate that fact, but it turned very quickly into a terrible day and one which I know will live with her for some time.”