A PENSIONER was today recovering in hospital after being left fighting for her life when a violent mugger attacked her as she walked home with her shopping.
Community stalwart Evelyn Crawford, 75, suffered serious head injuries, broken ribs, a punctured lung and broken fingers after being dragged to the ground as the mugger snatched her handbag.
Widow Mrs Crawford, who has been honoured as Drylaw Citizen of the Year, underwent an operation following the attack at 6pm on Sunday.
Detectives said that the pensioner, who is an elder at Drylaw Parish Church, remained
sedated in hospital yesterday as they hunted for the thug who struck as she walked along Groathill Road North.
Mrs Crawford was honoured for her work with the church, Brownies and Rainbows, which earned her the annual Thomas Tierney Award for Good Citizenship in 2007.
One of the OAP’s neighbours described how Mrs Crawford had banged on the door of her house for help after the attack.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “Evelyn tried her neighbour’s door, then she banged on our door. A taxi driver brought her back to her house after it happened and she complained of being breathless. She was clearly in shock.
“It is a terrible thing. Evelyn is the first person to help anyone. She visits a lot of sick people in the area and we think she might have been doing that before it happened.”
Another local resident, Senga Scott, described the attack as “utterly sick and disgusting” and said “nothing like it” had happened in the area since she moved in 29 years ago.
Mrs Scott said: “This is an area full of elderly people and families, and now they could be scared to go out. This was a vulnerable woman and I think it is utterly sick and disgusting that somebody could do this.”
Detective Inspector George Thomson, based at Gayfield police station, said: “This was an elderly woman simply walking home from the shops who has become the victim of a dreadful attack. It really is deplorable.
“I understand that she’s comfortable now after an operation. She is sedated so we have not been able to speak to her yet.
“This man has run up to her from behind and grabbed her handbag. She has refused to let go and she’s been pulled over, and has most likely struck her head when she fell.”
The attacker is described as in his early 20s, around 6ft tall and skinny. He was wearing dark clothing and a hat.
The attack took place in Groathill Road North, near the junction with Easter Drylaw Avenue. The mugger was pursued by a member of the public who chased him towards the Telford Road area before losing him in Easter Drylaw Drive.
DI Thomson added: “Someone must have seen this man, who was probably lying in wait.”
Councillor Cammy Day, a friend of Mrs Crawford for more than ten years, said: “Evelyn is a well-respected member of the community. The people of Drylaw Telford will be shocked.”