A WEST TAMWORTH man has been charged following the brazen daylight robbery of an elderly woman who had just finished her shopping.
Ursula Bakker, 79, suffered a bleed on the brain, a broken eye socket, broken nose, broken arm and bruising when she was mugged about 4pm on Thursday in the City Plaza car park.
Mrs Bakker had popped into the shops to pick up some bread and milk before returning to her car when the alleged offender struck, stealing her handbag.
The plucky 79-year-old tried to hold on, but fell during the struggle, suffering serious injuries.
Her alleged attacker then fled the scene, along with three others seen in his company.
Agnes Riley said it would take months for her 79-year-old sister to recover from the brain injury.
“The bleeding has stopped in the brain, so we’re on cloud nine at the moment,” Mrs Riley said.
“My sister has been seriously traumatised and wounded.”
Mrs Riley said her family had spent the day by her sister’s bedside yesterday after the brazen attack.
“It is tragic, you are just going to buy some bread and milk ... and the next minute there is an inch between life and death,” she said.
“She was bloodied from the top down.”
Witnesses rushed to the aid of Mrs Bakker, a prominent pianist and music teacher, who was taken to Tamworth hospital.
Police made an appeal yesterday morning for those responsible for what they described as a “cowardly attack on a vulnerable community member” before the breakthrough yesterday afternoon.
Officers recovered the handbag and began forensically examining it yesterday for clues.
Tamworth Target Action Group officers arrested the 21-year-old man in West Tamworth about 2.30pm.
He was taken to Tamworth Police Station and questioned before detectives charged the man with aggravated robbery.
He was refused bail and will front Tamworth Bail Court on Sunday.
Mrs Riley said her family are just hoping Ursula can make a full recovery and return to her love of playing the piano.
“It would be tragic if she couldn’t continue, but it will just depend on the progress of brain recovery,” she said.
“Everyone loves Ursula ... so we’re just hoping and praying she recovers, even be it slow.”
Oxley crime manager Inspector Phil O’Reilly said police still want to talk to anyone who might have seen anything in the car park at the time of the alleged attack.
“There were a number of shoppers in the area at the time,” he said.
“Anyone that has not spoken with police is being urged to come forward.”