Bogus charity collector who violently robbed 80-year-old woman on doorstep jailed

Stone was arrested after being spotted by a police officer in Gillingham. Credit: Kent Police

A bogus charity collector who violently robbed an elderly woman on her doorstep has been jailed.

Paul Stone, 46, assaulted the 80-year-old woman after knocking on her door in Strood, Kent, in August 2022.

When the victim answered, Stone claimed to be collecting for a charity.

She went to fetch her purse and when she returned, Stone violently pushed her and she fell backwards.

He grabbed her purse and fled the address near North Street.

Police officers rushed to the scene, but were unable to find the suspect.

Officers searched local CCTV footage and found Stone putting items from the victim's purse into his pocket and throwing the rest on the floor.

The items were later recovered by police.

A police officer in Gillingham recognised Stone from a police CCTV appeal. Credit: Kent Police

Stone was arrested the following day after being spotted by an officer along the High Street in Gillingham.

Stone, of no fixed address, was charged with robbery.

He pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court and on Friday 3 March 2023 was sentenced to six years and six months’ imprisonment.

Detective Constable Emma Laimbeer, of the Kent Crime Squad, said: "Paul Stone callously preyed upon an elderly and vulnerable victim, who he knew stood no chance in defending herself.

"He waited until she began to unzip her purse before assaulting her with a clenched fist, which he pushed hard into her chest causing her to fall.

"The impact of Stone’s cruel actions continue to have a deep and profound impact on the victim’s daily life and I only hope this prison sentence will now at least provide some sense of reassurance and safety."