A “callous” man from Grimsby has been jailed for three years after robbing a 63-year-old woman who was withdrawing cash from an ATM.

Steven McGuire, 40, of Edmonds Way in Grimsby pleaded guilty to the robbery at an earlier court hearing. The robbery happened at Old Market Place in Grimsby on April 12 this year.

McGuire approached the woman and stood behind her, waiting for the money to come out of the ATM. He then pushed the woman over and tried to pull the cash from her hand.

Humberside Police said a violent struggle ensued as the victim held on to the money whilst McGuire continued to try and take it from her.

The woman made several valiant attempts to fend off her attacker before other people saw and heard the struggle.

McGuire left empty handed before being founded and arrested by officers nearby.

Detective Constable Chris Clarke, who investigated the incident, said: “It was an appalling offence committed against a vulnerable lady by a callous man.

“I commend this amazing lady for her courage and strength, not only during the robbery but during the investigation too.

“I hope this sentence will serve as a warning to others. We want people to feel safe in our town centre and we will take every step to bring offenders such as Steven McGuire to justice.”

Lincolnshire’s gritters have not been blessed ahead of going out this year due to concerns over COVID-19 — but council transport bosses say the tradition will carry on.

The annual blessings, carried out by Lincolnshire bishops since 2003, are supposed to use prayer in a bid to limit the number of accidents and other tragic events on the roads.

Bishops who carried out the tradition previously have said there has been a “dramatic reduction” in the number of deaths

It’s the first time at least 10 years that the annual service has not taken place.

Gritters were deployed by Lincolnshire County Council on Friday following snowfall in the morning and ahead of sleet, rain and further icy weather this weekend, which is likely to cause treacherous conditions.

Further gritting runs are expected to take place.

Karen Cassar, assistant director for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Given the threat of COVID-19, we’ve been restricting visits to our depots and we didn’t think it was appropriate to gather people together for the blessing ceremony this year.

“We hope we can bring the tradition back next year.”

She said the teams were well prepared for the winter season and were monitoring the weather 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

However, she warned: “If you have to go out in wintry weather, please remember that grit isn’t magic dust, it takes time to work and treated roads can still be icy.

“Make sure you drive to the conditions.”

The council has 43 gritters on standby and more than 25,000 tons of salt in storage – last year the authority used 15,858 tons.

In an average winter, the council would expect to use between 18,500 to 20,000 tons

They cover 1,900 miles of road including all the A and B roads.

The leader of Lincolnshire County Council said he will reject proposals to increase councillors’ expenses by 2.75% for 2021 next Friday.

Cllr Martin Hill said: “I don’t think we should take anything bearing in mind obviously coronavirus issues and the fact that a lot of people out there are struggling with their jobs and their businesses.”

As council leader, Cllr Martin Hill could go from being able to claim £35,026.42 to £35,989.64 next year, a difference of £963.22, but said he will reject this increase.

“I’m fairly confident that I certainly won’t be taking it. I don’t think any of our conservatives will be wanting to follow the recommendation and we’ll be looking not to take the increase […] I just don’t think it’s right at the current time,” he said.

All 69 elected councillors currently receive a basic allowance in order to carry out their specific roles.

The basic allowance for councillors currently stands at £11,055.27 but this will go to £11,359.28 if the 2.75% increase is approved next week, and if councillors decide to take it – a £304.01 increase. No other changes will be made to allowances.

Cllr Hill’s party will be meeting on Monday to discuss the options. | Photo: LCC

However, Cllr Robert Parker, leader of Lincolnshire’s Labour party, said “I would say that we would probably be supporting it,” but understood “the timing is unfortunate”.

“This is about catching up with the allowance system which we have an annual look at.”

As leader of the opposition, Cllr Parker’s allowance would go from £9,949.73 to £10,223.34 if approved, an increase of £273.61.

Cllr Robert Parker, Leader of Lincolnshire’s Labour Party.

The level of allowances for councillors is recommended by an Independent Renumeration Panel (IRP), made up of people from outside of the council.

In 2018, the IRP recommended that the members’ allowances scheme continues to be linked to the average percentage increase in pay for employees.

Lincolnshire County Council has to agree its members’ allowances scheme every year and 2020 is no different.

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