London

Psychiatric patient hunted over Hackney mugging of woman, 92

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Media captionPolice said the woman eventually let go of the bag because she was in so much pain

Police investigating the violent robbery of a 92-year-old woman say they want to question a man who has absconded from a psychiatric unit.

The victim was dragged along the ground by a robber in Hackney, east London, as he grabbed her handbag on 27 June.

Detectives want to speak to Sanchez Edwards, 28, who has paranoid schizophrenia and went missing from the John Howard Centre on 17 May.

The Met Police described him as a "dangerous man".

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Sanchez Edwards, has paranoid schizophrenia and is said to have a history of violence

He was admitted to the centre in Hackney on 29 January last year and later sentenced to an unrestricted hospital order under the Mental Health Act for assaulting a member of hospital staff.

A Met Police spokesman said: "If you see Edwards then do not approach him but immediately call 999 or alert a nearby police officer."

Detectives said the 92-year-old woman was pulled across the floor by the man as she walked to a medical centre in Nuttall Street.

She eventually let go of the bag, which contained a £50 mobile phone, £100 in cash and a travel pass, because she was in so much pain, police said.

Det Insp Paul Ridley said the "devastating psychological trauma of this victim is possibly the worst I have encountered".

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