Pensioner's killer jailed for 5 years

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A TEENAGER was jailed for five years at the Old Bailey yesterday for killing a pensioner while on bail for another offence.

Anthony Small, 19, mugged Constance Brown, 72, so he could buy drugs. Small, of Streatham, south London, shadowed Mrs Brown as she took a short cut carrying a plastic bag containing pounds 1,000 round her wrist.

He ripped the bag from the widow with such force that she fell over and hit her head. She later died from a brain haemorrhage and heart attack.

Small was sentenced to five years youth custody for her manslaughter and four years for robbery, to be served concurrently, after admitting both offences.

The sentence was immediately condemned as too lenient by Mrs Brown's daughter, Mrs Gloria Wagland. She said her family was having to move from their Streatham home because of the trauma caused by her mother's death.

'They said Small was suffering from depression at the time he mugged my mother. We all get depressed - but we don't all go out mugging old ladies in the street.

'There's been compassion for the defendant, but not for the victim.'

Orlando Pownall, for the prosecution, said the widow had changed hundreds of old notes for current ones and collected more than pounds 200 pension.

Small was on bail for taking a vehicle and driving without insurance when he mugged Mrs Brown.

His counsel, Anthony Abell, said Small had been introduced to crack. 'The desire for that evil drug had taken a hold on him. That was the motivation for doing what he did.'