Woman tells how she pursued attacker who viciously attacked Portsmouth pensioner

The corner of Church Road and Fratton Road where the attack happened Picture: Google Maps
The corner of Church Road and Fratton Road where the attack happened Picture: Google Maps
Chief Inspector Sharon Woolrich

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A WOMAN has told of how she followed and confronted a man who attacked a pensioner and left her for dead in the road.

Vorni Whitcombe, a 50-year-old cleaner from Fratton, was walking 100 yards behind Julia Foster when she saw the 71-year-old attacked.

As reported, Mrs Foster was walking home after visiting her son when she was attacked by a man on the corner of Church Road and Fratton Road, opposite St Mary’s Church, in Fratton

She was hit twice over the head by the man with a heavy carrier bag of beer cans.

It caused her to fall into the road and hit her head.

Mrs Whitcombe was on her way to work she saw the attack.

She initially went to Mrs Foster’s aid and then decided to follow the attacker.

She and two teenager boys pursued the man until Lake Road when the two boys decided they did not want to get involved.

Mrs Whitcombe followed the man up to Queen’s Road as she was on the phone to the police.

‘He was just casually walking up the road as if nothing had happened,’ she said.

‘I actually said to him “Why did you do that?”

‘I said “What’s going on?”

‘He said “She got in my way”.

‘I thought “I am not going to let him get away”.’

After Queen’s Road, the man disappeared from sight.

The police turned up to carry out an area search, but the attacker could not be found.

Mrs Foster, a retired partner in a planning firm, of Church Road, Fratton, was taken to hospital by ambulance and received treatment for cuts to her head.

Mrs Whitcombe said: ‘I think it’s absolutely disgusting.

‘He needs sorting out.

‘I just want the police to catch him and arrest him.

‘This lady was pouring with blood, it was all over me.’

Father Darcy Chesterfield-Terry, of St Mary’s Church, spoke of his shock.

He said: ‘We are shocked that such violence could take place but especially outside our front door.

‘It’s dreadful that people feel the need to hurt other people.’

He said they would be saying prayers for Mrs Foster, who has gone away to try to recover from the ordeal.

The attack happened between 4.30pm and 4.50pm on Wednesday, November 25.

The man is described as white, about 5ft 10in tall, of stocky build, wearing a bright yellow ‘Helly Hansen-style’ jacket and blue jeans.

Call police on 101, quoting 44150410053.