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Chorley man jailed for brutal pensioner robbery

Andrew Hodgkinson

[A] MAN has been jailed for more than six years after a brutal robbery of a pensioner in Chorley.

Andrew Hodgkinson, 36, of Ullswater Road, Chorley, pleaded guilty to robbery at a hearing at Preston Crown Court last month (Friday, October 13th).

He was today (Thursday, November 9th) jailed for six years and eight months. He was also given an extended licence for three years.

Police launched an investigation after 88-year-old Evelyn Birchall was woken from her sleep in her home on Aspen Gardens at around half past midnight on Saturday, August 26th to find Hodgkinson assaulting her and demanding money.

He also pulled the pensioner from her bed and the assault continued before he ransacked the house and made off.

Evelyn managed to crawl to a neighbour’s house to raise the alarm and the police were called.

She was taken by ambulance to Wigan Hospital suffering from a number of injuries but has since thankfully recovered physically.

Hodgkinson was found after a manhunt and arrested. Items of stolen jewellery were recovered from a shed at the house and he was subsequently charged.

Following the assault and the police appeal the community rallied round and Evelyn has been provided with extra security for her home.

In a statement provided to the court Mrs Birchall describes how the attack has affected her.

She said she still suffers from pain and lives in fear of Hodgkinson, even though she knows he is in prison. She struggles to sleep and keeps waking up imagining someone is in her room.

She describes how her great grandchildren were too scared to go and give her hugs after the attack because of her injuries and how Hodgkinson has taken her comfort, security and confidence. She is, however, determined to get this back she says.

Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, of South CID, said: “This was a brutal and sustained assault on an elderly lady in her own home.

“The violence used on this vulnerable woman simply beggars belief and it is a miracle she was not more seriously injured.

“In 27 years of service I have never witnessed such levels of gratuitous violence.

“I welcome today’s sentence which reflects the gravity of Hodgkinson’s offending.”

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