Bungling robber jailed after being chased and thwarted by Peterborough pensioner, 80s, and quick thinking shop staff

BEHIND BARS: Alan Cuerden
BEHIND BARS: Alan Cuerden

A man who snatched an elderly woman’s handbag and then attempted a further robbery on the same day has been jailed.

Alan Cuerden, 41, grabbed the victim’s bag as she was walking along Atherstone Avenue in Peterborough at about 3.30pm on August 8. The victim, who is in her 80s, initially gave chase and swung another bag at Cuerden. He was also confronted by another member of the public, causing him to drop the victim’s bag and a knife as he ran off.

At about 4.45pm Cuerden entered a shop in Everdon Way, Peterborough, and threatened staff with a knife. A member of the public called police and secured the shop door so Cuerden couldn’t leave.

Cuerden, of no fixed abode, was arrested at the scene and later charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a knife in a public place. On Wednesday (November 8) he pleaded guilty to all charges at Cambridge Crown Court and was sentenced to five years in jail.

Detective Constable Sarah Phillips said: “Cuerdon targeted a vulnerable woman in a cowardly act and then went on to terrify staff at the shop in Westwood.

“We will do all we can to bring the perpetrators of crimes such as this to justice. I hope the sentence sends a clear message to anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of offence.”