Two drug addicts who followed and then robbed a 94-year-old woman as she walked along a Wrexham street with her shopping bag in one hand and her walking stick in the other have been locked up.

Ian Jonathan Thomas and Katie Marie Adams were told by a crown court judge that it was “a sick and disgusting” offence.

Mold Crown Court heard that the victim was knocked to the floor and injured when her handbag was snatched.

Local people who heard her cries for help ran to their aid.

The whole thing was captured on CCTV which was played to the court and it turned out that the two targeted her.

They followed her and it was Adams who ran up and snatched her bag.

Both fled and when Adams dropped the bag Thomas picked it up.

Adams was quickly identified by police from the footage and they were both arrested at Thomas’ flat at Y Wern – where most of the stolen property was recovered.

Both admitted robbery in Linden Avenue, Hightown, Wrexham, on October 9.

Thomas, 41, received three years and nine months and Adams, 28, a three year sentence.

Judge Niclas Parry told them: “What a sick, disgusting offence.”

It was clear that they saw their victim “and like two animals you saw her for what she was – easy prey.”

She was 94 years of age and they made for her and attacked her.

At the age of 94 she had been left bruised, with cuts and abrasions and pain to her shoulder – a proud independent lady who was now afraid of leaving her home in the remaining years of her life.

He warned that it was the sort of robbery which had a starting point of four years with a range of three to six.

There were aggravating features that the two had acted together and targeted their victim, who he said was “as vulnerable as one can imagine.”

Thomas, he said, had an appalling criminal record with 63 previous convictions after decades of violence and dishonesty and Adams, while only 28, had previous convictions for 38 offences.

But they had nothing as serious as robbery on their record and their only real mitigation was the guilty plea which was a genuine indication of remorse.

In a victim impact statement the elderly lady said that it had not hit her on the day but the following day it began to dawn on her what had happened.

She had lived at her home for 40 years and for the first time started to feel vulnerable and un-settled.

Prosecutor David Mainstone said that she feared they would seek her out and get to her home – and her son had fitted CCTV outside her home to make her feel safer. She had never felt unsafe in her home before.

The victim revealed that she had difficulty sleeping worrying about what had happened.

That day, she had walked to the Post Office and shops by herself something that she did and was proud of her independence.

“But since it happened I do not want to leave the house,” she said.

She was afraid of leaving the house alone and would therefore lose a lot of her independence.

The prosecutor said that the victim was walking along when she felt her handbag being pulled out of her grip which caused her to fall to the floor. She shouted for help and local people came out to help.

Her purse containing £10 was taken together with her keys and medication and three scratch cards she had just bought.

The majority of the stolen items were recovered on their arrest.

Investigations showed that Thomas, wearing a dark hoodie, and Adams had followed the victim and deliberately targeted her.

Henry Hills, for Thomas, said that his client indicated a guilty plea at his first appearance in the magistrates’ court where he had been bailed so that he could attend his mother’s funeral.

But Mr Hills said that while in Wrexham he had been severely beaten, had spent two weeks in hospital and his spleen had been removed. “There are indications that it was as a result of committing this offence,” said Mr Hills.

His life had been ravaged by drugs, he was a drug addict but had an understanding of the awful nature of the offence.

Oliver King, for Adams, said that it was appreciated that it was a very serious matter and she was “deeply ashamed and disgusted with herself.”

She was not someone who went around picking on old ladies but that day had hit rock bottom and her only thought was her next fix.

Adams – who cried throughout much of the hearing and closed her eyes and shook her head when the CCTV footage was played – had told him that she did not know “how it had come to this.”

She did not have the best of starts, was born to two heroin addicts and her mother died young. The defendant had settled in a relationship and had a child, but more recently went off the rails again when a seven year relationship ended, her grandfather died and her grandmother suffered a stroke.

After the sentencing hearing Det Insp Mark Hughes, of North Wales Police, said: “This was a despicable crime against a vulnerable elderly woman. 

"Thomas and Adams have rightly been given prison sentences for this robbery and I hope they spend some of their time behind bars reflecting on the callous nature of what they did.”