Thug jailed for mugging pensioner outside Lincoln bank and stabbing passer-by who detained him

A judge has praised the actions of three people who went to the aid of a 70-year-old woman who was mugged as she walked into a bank.

Judge Simon Hirst said that Carl Pettit together with Bernard Green and Nina Sutton behaved heroically in helping to detain Scott Overton.

Overton, 42, was jailed for a total of nine years and seven months at Lincoln Crown Court for a series of offences including robbery and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Overton snatched the handbag of Shirley Wright, 70, as she walked into the Barclays Bank on Crusader Road off Tritton Road in Lincoln.

Ms Wright fell to the ground during the incident suffering a number of facial injuries and her glasses were broken.

Overton then ran off but was pursued by customers.

The court heard that Overton was detained in a bear hug by Carl Pettit, who was waiting to be served in the bank when he heard Ms Wright’s screams for help.

Overton was forced to the ground but produced a knife which he used to stab Mr Pettit five times.

But passer-by Bernard Green stamped on Overton’s hand forcing him to let go of the knife before Nina Sutton, another member of the public, kicked the weapon away to prevent Overton getting his hands on it. Other members of the public assisted Ms Wright.

Overton was then detained until police arrived and arrested him.

The Judge awarded Mr Pettit £500 and Mr Green and Ms Sutton were each awarded £250.

Judge Hirst said: “In this case a number of members of the public behaved in an extremely brave and heroic fashion.

“It seems to me that it is appropriate that the High Sheriff pay to them a sum of money to reflect their bravery. It is a token from public funds for thanking them.”

Overton, of no fixed address, had previously admitted charges of robbery, wounding with intent to resist his lawful apprehension and possession of an offensive weapon as a result of the incident on April 11 this year.

He also admitted three charges of burglary of a building on the site of the William Sinclair Holdings premises on Firth Road, Lincoln and stealing copper cabling and piping.

He further admitted breach of bail, breach of a suspended jail sentence and breach of a conditional discharge.

The court was told that he had 35 previous convictions for a total of 141 offences.

Judge Hirst, passing sentence, told him: “This was planned. You stood outside the bank waiting for a victim to come. You targeted this vulnerable victim.”

At an earlier hearing Victoria Rose, prosecuting, told the court that Ms Wright suffered cuts and bruises to her face and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Miss Rose said: “She was extremely distressed and shocked at what happened.”

The prosecutor said that before the incident Ms Wright had devoted time to raising money for the RNLI charity but now feels anxious about leaving her own home.

Mr Pettit was also taken to hospital where he was treated for five puncture wounds to the back of his hand.

Matthew Burdon, in mitigation, said that Overton felt “dreadful” about the harm he caused to Ms Wright.

“He saw an opportunity to seize what she had in her hand. What he wanted to do was grab the bag and run. He uses that as an explanation for the way events unfolded.

“He says that whilst being restrained he was being strangled and he panicked. He expresses remorse.”

DC David Hutchinson of Lincoln CID said: “This was a terrible, cowardly and violent attack.

“It was carried out on an elderly lady going about her business who sustained broken bones from the attack.

“Since the attack she has shown great strength in coming forward and is determined that it will not affect her life. Thankfully she is making a full recovery.

“Witnesses who saw this happening also showed great courage to tackle Overton and detain him at the scene.

“One of them received a stab wound to his hand. This shows that the local community are not prepared to stand by and watch incidents of this nature happen.

“The fact that Overton pleaded guilty at the first occasion to do so is also a testament to the hard work of our officers.

“I hope this substantial sentence sends out a strong message that Lincolnshire Police will bring those who commit such crimes to justice.”