Man who dragged pensioner along street during daylight mugging jailed

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A dangerous criminal who was caught on camera dragging an elderly woman along a cobbled street in Bradford during a broad daylight mugging has been jailed for life.

The shocking footage of Lee Naylor’s sickening lunchtime attack on pensioner Christine Fearnley went viral last October after her son posted it on Facebook with an appeal to catch him.

The drug addict, who stamped on his victim’s face three times, was found guilty of robbing the pensioner, and another woman 11 days earlier, following a trial at Bradford Crown Court.

Today Mrs Fearnley bravely came into court to talk about the impact of the attack on her and she described how her face was “all the colours of the rainbow” when the bruising came out.

But she defiantly said she wouldn’t let Naylor’s attack affect her although her brain was “well and truly scrambled” for quite a while.

“I will not let him affect me so I have tried to carry on as normal,” she told the court.

In 2008 former Queensbury man Naylor was locked up indefinitely under a sentence for public protection for previous attacks on elderly victims and he was told he had to serve at least four years before being considered for release.

But 2012 and 2013 he absconded from an open prison in Derbyshire and had to be re-arrested and returned to custody.

He was finally released from prison in January last year, but in September Naylor was behind the wheel of a car which was used as a getaway vehicle after his accomplice Dean Whittaker snatched a handbag from a woman as she walked home from work in Bradford.

On October 2 Mrs Fearnley was walking along a road in the Great Horton area at lunchtime when she was attacked by hooded Naylor who was captured of CCTV footage following her down the street.

Prosecutor Chris Smith told the jury at the start of the trial that the footage of the robbery wasn’t “easy viewing” and captured Naylor dragging his victim as she lay on the cobbled street.

Naylor, of Kingswood Terrace, Bradford, was filmed stamping on his victim as she tried to hold onto her bag, but he eventually wrestled it from her and fled leaving her motionless on the ground.

Jailing 39-year-old Naylor for life Judge Colin Burn described the attack on Mrs Fearnley as “brutal” and said it was amazing she didn’t suffer serious injuries when she was pulled backwards by her bag strap.

Judge Burn said he liked to think that Naylor was under the influence of something at the time because the alternative was too horrible to contemplate.

Naylor will be eligible for release from prison after seven years, but the judge that would only happen if it was considered safe to let him out.

Whittaker, 27, of Cobden Street, Bradford, was jailed for six years after he was also found guilty of robbery in respect of the attack on the woman in September.

The court heard he had only been released from a previous jail sentence for robbery a few weeks before that crime.