A callous and violent robber who snatched two rings from an elderly woman’s finger has been jailed for six years. 

West Higgins had previously made an unsolicited offer to do gardening work at the victim’s Rochester home and, despite completing no work, attended her address in November 2020 to request payment. He then pinned her against a kitchen unit and removed two gold rings from her finger. 

The 33-year-old from Rochester, admitted robbery and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday 25 February 2021. 

West Higgins

Shortly before the robbery, Higgins made an unsolicited offer to carry out maintenance work on the victim’s garden.  It was agreed that he could do some work, and a small payment was made in advance by the victim. On 6 November he attended the address to collect further payment, despite no work being completed. Higgins then convinced the victim to provide him with some food.

As she was getting some of items out of the freezer, he noticed jewellery on her fingers and pushed her against some kitchen cupboards. He then placed one of his hands around her neck and used his other to remove two gold rings. He also attempted to remove other rings from different fingers but was unable to do so. 

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The victim was left with significant bruising, and a cut, to her finger but was able to report the offence to Kent Police immediately after Higgins ran from the scene. Higgins was arrested the following day and promptly charged. He has been remanded in custody since. 

Police Constable Michael Kiernan, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Higgins used considerable force against a woman who is more than 40 years older than him. The offence was exceptionally callous and left the victim in considerable distress. ‘I am pleased that we have been able to secure justice for her and that a violent offender is now unable to target other innocent people.’

Police Constable Michael Kiernan

By Ed

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