By Chris Jaffray
An OAP hospitalised after being mugged TWICE in two weeks has been treated to a free holiday after her outraged community rallied round to send her cash.
Anne Willis, 76, was minding her own business on the way back from her local supermarket in Hazel Grove, Stockport, Manchester, when a man pulled a knife on her and demanded her belongings on June 10, before making off with gifts for her grandchildren including a superman t-shirt.
But just 13 days later, the retired housewife was on her way back from church when a mugger struck again – throwing her to the ground and making off with her bag, leaving her hospitalised with a broken shoulder.
After the double attack horrified local residents, a fundraiser was set up in honour of Anne, who spent two days in hospital for damage to her shoulder and still has her right arm in a sling.
Donations have now exceeded £1,000 and widow Anne, whose husband Keith died in 1999 from emphysema, plans to use the money on a trip to Llandudno, Wales, with a friend when she recovers – but has been too scared to leave her home since the attack.
Anne, who suffered a heart attack two years ago, said: “The first time he took my shopping bag and my groceries, then about a fortnight later I was coming home from church after I’d been to Sainsbury’s first and this man appeared and snatched my bag from my shoulder.
“I ended up on the ground and smashed my shoulder.
“I came to Hazel Grove in 1972 and I’ve never seen anything like this before – it’s so nice and peaceful here.
“The fundraising was very kind and I might go on holiday when I’m better, to Llandudno.”
Anne’s brother David Carter, a retired process engineer who lives close to her, said he was in disbelief his sister had been attacked twice.
And the local community was so horrified children at nearby Dial Park Primary School invited Anne in for a cup of tea and made her a card – while she was flooded by flowers and cards from other residents.
David, 63, said: “I was in York having a weekend break the second time and my daughter rang me up and said ‘have you heard what’s happened, Anne has been targeted again’.
“It is unbelievable – she had a heart attack two years ago and she could have had another one.
“Now I have my grandkids awake at night not wanting to go to school.
“They can’t understand how anybody would do this to Auntie Anne, she is like a grandmother to them.
“If there’s any money left over from the fundraiser I’m going to put in on improving security.
“I have lived in this area all of my life, nothing like this has been happened before.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed Lee Davenport, 39, of Mount Pleasant, Hazel Grove, was charged with two counts of robbery over the attacks on June 10 and June 23.
He is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court later this month.
To donate to Anne’s GoFundMe appeal: go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/lets-restore-this-elderly-ladies-faith-in-humanity?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet