Dog lovers start appeal for injured gran after robbery

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Frail Veronica Heyes, 80, who walks with a crutch, was attacked in the entrance of Geoffrey Street health centre in Fishwick, Preston.

Drug-addled Lynnette Oakey, 34, who was loitering at the gates, had pestered her for a cigarette twice even though the great-grandma, from Callon, Preston, told her she didn’t smoke.

ORDEAL: Pensioner Veronica Heyes was robbed by Lynnette Oakey

ORDEAL: Pensioner Veronica Heyes was robbed by Lynnette Oakey

As the pensioner walked to her blood test, Oakey pounced on her and snatched her walking stick to make her lose her balance.

Mrs Heyes, who hit her head, face and wrist as she fell, screamed for help as Oakey, of City Road, Wigan, yanked her handbag strap over her head and fled, leaving her on the floor.

But her escape was short-lived, thanks to two have-a-go heroes.

Now Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners appalled by the attack have set up a Facebook group and want to give Mrs Heyes and her two heroes gifts.

Lynnette Oakey

Lynnette Oakey

Claire Crossman, of Preston, said the robber was known in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier -owning community and they wanted to show their horror at what had happened.

The group, called “Support for Mrs Veronica Heyes”, aims to raise money for flowers and gifts for Mrs Heyes and those who helped her.

The webpage says: “This group has been set up for people in the world of dog showing to support Mrs Veronica Heyes who was so despicably assaulted and mugged whilst going about her business by a vile thug that had shown at Crufts earlier in the year.. The show world deplore this type of behaviour so to help lift Mrs Heyes’ spirits please donate however much you can spare.”

Claire said: “What happened has made our blood boil and if we can just raise £200 or £300 we can Mrs Heyes and her heroes something.”

Delivery driver James Owens, who was dropping off goods at the chemist’s, rugby-tackled Oakey to the ground and held her, with the help of passerby Kerry Holder, until police got there, despite Oakey’s attempts to bite them.

Oakey admitted robbery at Preston Crown Court and will be sentenced at a later date.