Prison for £3k Chanel handbag street robber

The Crescent, St Annes
The Crescent, St Annes

A robber who targeted two lone women in broad daylight has been jailed for 22 months by a top judge.

Michael Stephen McGraw, 28, of Church Street, St Annes, was already being investigated for robbing one woman when he committed a second offence, mugging a woman of her £3,000 Chanel handbag.

Recorder of Preston, His Honour Judge Mark Brown jailed McGraw after hearing how one victim ended up in a brave tug of war as she clung on to the bag on The Crescent in St Annes on January 1, Preston Crown Court was told.

Guy Mathieson, prosecuting, said: “ It was around 2.20pm.

“She felt herself wholly unexpectedly being lifted up from behind with arms around her waist.

“It’s seemingly a manoeuvre to put her emotionally off balance, but it also put herself physically off balance to loosen her handbag.

“When she was put down the bag slid down her arm and then embarked a tug of war.

“He used sufficient force to overpower her.”

At the time McGraw was on bail for robbing another woman on August 26 last year as she walked home from the supermarket on St George’s Road, St Annes, at 6.55pm.

Mr Mathieson said: “She had a bag of shopping in each hand.

“McGraw cycled past, going round past Aldi, turning round and cycling back.

“She noted he was very close to her, so much that as he went past her he snatched the carrier bag from her left hand, making good his escape.

“He was seen by other members of public.

“The unfortunate thing for the lady, whether he knew this or not, was the bag contained not only shopping but also her purse which contained a number of family photographs which are irreplaceable.”

The court heard McGraw made no comment in interview and was identified on a viper parade.

Richard Archer, defending, said he was currently serving a suspended sentence activated for other offences.

Police were unable to provide a mugshot of McGraw