Young mother feared would-be robber tried to steal baby

Paula Estridge
Paula Estridge
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A YOUNG mother feared her baby would be snatched when a thief tried to steal her purse.

Paula Estridge stopped the woman asking for 60p to use a nearby pay phone.

But the 53-year-old instead lunged for a purse on the back of the pram the baby was in.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the mother took both hands off the pushchair and pushed addict Estridge away.

Tim Akers, prosecuting, read the mother’s victim personal statement in court.

He said: ‘She finds it difficult go out on her own in the evening after it happened. She feels nervous someone is going to approach or talk to her.

‘She feels constantly on edge when she goes out.’

Estridge, of no fixed address, denied attempted robbery of the woman at 10.20am on December 30 in Steerforth Close, Buckland.

But a jury at her trial convicted her and a judge jailed her for 12 months.

Mr Akers added: ‘She was trying to fend off the defendant with one hand on the push chair.

‘She has to take both hands off the pushchair to push the defendant in the face.’

Sentencing, Recorder Frank Abbott said: ‘She had a baby with her in a pushchair, she was scared someone was trying to snatch the child.’

He added: ‘The reality is that this was a lady out with her baby and suddenly you tried to rob her.

‘You pleaded not guilty even though the evidence in fact was clear; even now you’re saying it was nothing to do with you when it clearly was.’

The court heard Estridge, who was deemed unsuitable for a drug rehabilitation programme, has a previous conviction for robbery in 2003.

The judge added: ‘I thought she didn’t care about what had happened to this lady.’

The court heard Estridge had a ‘troubled life’

Jason Halsey, for Estridge, said: ‘She’s in a circle, it’s not going to get any better.

‘She’s fast approaching the end of her middle age, she needs to change or she’s going to end up in a coffin.’