Lancashire

Burnley woman, 84, dies after three muggings

Ora Walton courtesy of Burnley Express
Image caption People would thrust money into Ora Walton's hand after she was mugged

An 84-year-old woman has died weeks after she was mugged for the third time in less than two years.

During the latest assault, Ora Walton was thrown to the ground for her pension near a post office in Burnley.

She was found dead at her home in Branch Road. Her family and friends believe the series of attacks contributed to her death.

Michael Brooks, 58, of Reed Street, admitted the latest robbery. He is due to be sentenced on 29 November.

After throwing her to the floor on 18 October, Brooks stole her pension and fled. The 84-year-old was left with severe bruising to her arms and legs.

The former weaver was found dead on 15 November.

It is unclear how Ms Walton, who lived with her sister, Amy, at their home in Branch Road, Burnley Wood, died.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out on Thursday, Lancashire Police said.

Pension theft

During the previous two muggings she had her bag snatched, and two men pretending to be from the gas board stole her Christmas cash.

A close friend, Councillor Karen Heseltine, said the local community was extremely fond of Ms Walton, who many viewed as their "grandma".

After Brooks stole her pension, local residents were determined to raise the £136 that he stole and give it back to her.

"When people saw her in the street they would stop and thrust money into her hand," Ms Heseltine said.

"They did not want to see her going short. She was always so shocked that people could be so generous to her."

She said whenever she went to visit, Ms Walton was always warm and welcoming.

"But now I understand she must have hid the physical pain she was in," the councillor added.

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