100-year-old widow died after being mugged coming home from church, the court heard

Junie Sihlangu
Feb 05, 2019
05:20 P.M.
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Last year, a century-old widow passed away a few days after a Polish man mugged her in broad daylight. During the incident, the elderly woman suffered a broken neck.


While on her way to church, the mugger grabbed her because she was an “easy target” according to the court.

On May 28, Zofija Kaczan, 100, was left seriously injured when Artur Waszkiewicz, 40, allegedly grabbed her from behind and stole her handbag in Normanton, Derby. A court hearing held on Monday revealed that she was subsequently rushed to a hospital.


She was able to describe her attacker to the police and died a few days later on June 6 last year. The Derby Crown Court hearing comprised a jury of seven men and five women.

They heard how Kaczan was knocked to the ground before her green handbag was taken while she was on her way to St Maksymilian Kolbe Polish Church at 8.30am. Waszkiewicz emptied it and dumped it nearby where a street cleaner found it.


Stills from CCTV footage revealed to the jurors how the elderly woman was followed by a gray Seat Leon moments before she was mugged. The prosecutor, Kate Brunner said: "She was small, on her own, vulnerable, an easy target for a man desperate for money. Within seconds of her crossing the road a grey Seat Leon was seen travelling the same direction she was walking in.”

She added,

"That car was insured in the name of this defendant's father, he was living in south Derby at the time. It is not disputed that he was driving that car on that day. He was driving on the same road that Zofija Kaczan was attacked. The prosecution say, he was slowing down having spotted his easy target.”


Brunner argued that "The pathologist will say she died of pneumonia and that she will not have died if she was not injured in that terrible way. The prosecution say it was this man sitting in the dock who is responsible. He says it wasn't him.”


She also revealed that the widow was originally from Poland before she moved to the UK. The prosecutor described the elderly woman as being in “remarkably good shape.”


It was revealed that Waszkiewicz's fingerprints were discovered on items in the victim's handbag. A few days after the attack, the suspect left Derby to visit his father in London and changed his appearance.

He has denied the robbery and manslaughter charges and the trial will continue for two more weeks.

The suspect was initially remanded into custody after the incident. On July 6, last year, he appeared for the first time at the Derby Crown Court.


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