‘Festive’ thug in flashing Santa hat leaps from church step to assault pensioner

The attack happened on Dean Bridge
The attack happened on Dean Bridge
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A TEENAGE robber wearing a flashing Santa hat has assaulted a 78-year-old pensioner in a “despicable” attack.

Police are appealing for information after the elderly woman was assaulted as she and her 80-year-old husband returned from a family dinner in Dean Village on Monday night.

The woman, who was said to be “shaken” as a result of her ordeal, later received hospital treatment for a head injury after falling to the ground.

The assault took place around 11.20pm outside the Rhema Church on Dean Bridge, opposite the junction of Eton Terrace.

As the couple were walking, they noticed the suspect, who was wearing a flashing Santa hat, sitting on the steps at the church door with another man, who was also wearing a Santa hat.

The couple passed them and, a few seconds later, the woman was pushed from behind by the suspect, who tried to grab her bag.

There was a struggle before the suspect ran off empty-handed towards the city centre.

The second man was not present during the assault.

The victim hit her head as she fell, suffered an injury and was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where she was released following treatment.

Police believe the attacker intended to rob his victim.

Detective Sergeant Richard Creanor, who is leading the inquiry, said: “This has been a totally despicable crime.

“The couple had been walking along the street and the next thing they knew, someone tried to grab the woman from behind and she ended up on the ground and hitting her head.

“The husband called out and members of the public came to their assistance.

“She was taken to hospital and treated for head injuries before being released, but she is very shaken up, as you can imagine.

“Any sort of injury to a 78-year-old woman is not a trivial one.”

DS Creanor added he had never come across a crime being committed while the suspect had a festive hat on.

Both men are described as being in their late teens, and the suspect is described as wearing a bomber jacket.

It is believed a white dog may have been present when the attack took place.

DS Creanor added: “It’s never nice when attacks like this happen but particularly in this case where the couple were in their later years.

“We are appealing for people nearby who may have been in the area prior to the incident or who may have noticed the pair sitting on the church steps.

“Both men were wearing distinctive festive hats and this key detail might jog someone’s memory who has vital information about their identity.

“I would appeal to anyone who might recognise the description of the men, or who thinks they might know who they are, to get in touch immediately.

“This kind of incident can not be tolerated in this city.”

Anyone with information should contact the police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.