Judge’s praise for woman who foiled Newmarket street robbery

Louise Keddy
Louise Keddy

A judge has praised a woman who stepped in to foil what he called ‘a hideous attempted robbery’ in Newmarket.

Angelika Wierbowska did not hesitate when she saw a 78-year-old woman pushed to the ground as the would-be robber Louise Keddy tried to snatch her handbag. She pulled Keddy off her victim before she too was attacked by Keddy, who pulled her hair and tried to push her fingers into her eyes.

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Tuesday that serial offender Keddy, a 25- year-old who had a history of using class A drugs and had 16 previous convictions for 28 separate offences, had grabbed pensioner Janet Rigby from behind as she walked along Exeter Road towards Rayes Lane on March 8 this year.

She then tried to snatch the handbag she was carrying which contained money she had just withdrawn from a cash machine after being dropped off by her husband.

Following Ms Wierbowska’s intervention other passers-by got involved and managed to restrain Keddy until police officers arrived.

At an earlier hearing, Keddy, of Exning Road, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and assault. She also asked for five offences of theft from shops to be taken into consideration by the court.

Following her arrest, Keddy told officers that she had been drinking heavily and taken pills given to her by a friend and could remember nothing of the incident.

Stephen Dyble, appearing for Keddy, said his client had expressed considerable and genuine remorse while accepting that the offences were serious.

Jailing her for a total of 33 months, Judge David Goodin told Keddy: “This was a hideous attempted robbery. It was an elderly woman on her own grabbed by the scruff of the neck, borne to the ground by physical force as you sought to relieve her of her cash.”

Judge Goodin commended Miss Wierbowska for her intervention and said she deserved the thanks of the court for her actions.