A woman stole a disabled elderly man's bag in a "disgusting attack" as he was having a rest on his walker while out shopping at Bury Market.

Sonia Eyres approached the 78-year-old man, who has multiple sclerosis and spinal difficulties, at 11am on July 25, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.  

Lisa Boocock, prosecuting, said the man walked very slowly to doors leading outside before he sat down on his walker for a rest.

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The court was then shown CCTV footage of the attack, which showed Eyres approaching the victim from behind and forcefully taking a bag, which was hung on his walker. The force of taking the bag swung the walker round.

A passer-by helped the man who was in shock, and he was given a cup of tea before being helped back to the care home where he lives.

The bag that was stolen and its contents was worth around £300.

Police arrested Eyres, 52, and she provided "no comment" answers during a police interview.

But she later pleaded guilty to theft and common assault.

In a victim impact statement, the man said: “This event has shaken me up a bit as this has never happened to me before, but I do not feel frightened to go out.”

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Constance Halliwell, defending, told the court that Eyres has a long history of offences due to drug addiction and she is capable of putting this behind her with the right support.

She said: “She is a victim herself who has lived a troubled life and someone who has suffered drug addiction since the age of 30.”

Miss Halliwell also said that Eyres is keen to take a drug rehabilitation course and recognises the damage drugs have had on her.

Eyres, of Downham Gardens, Prestwich, also suffered other personal problems in her life.

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Recorder Paul Hodgkinson accepted Eyres has had a troubled life.

He said: “It’s ugly and disgusting to attack a vulnerable man and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Sonia Eyres was sentenced to a 12-month community order and is required to attend 15 days of a woman problem solving rehabilitation course and to enrol on a 12-month drug rehabilitation course.

Recorder Hodgkinson added: “This is an opportunity to save your own life and we hope you grasp that opportunity.”