A man who followed an elderly woman leaving a bank before dragging her to the ground to steal her handbag full of cash has been jailed.

Croydon Crown Court heard that on the afternoon of February 14, two women – a mother, 84, and her daughter 52 – were inside a bank on Streatham High Road, Lambeth.

Moses Blackwood, of Sunnyhill Road, watched the mother withdraw £5,000 and divide the cash between the two.

He then followed them along Streatham High Road and onto a bus.

When the pair got off, Blackwood followed.

As they approached their home in Thornton Heath, Blackwood quickly approached and violently dragged the 84-year-old woman to the floor, stealing her handbag containing £2,500.

The daughter tried to stop Blackwood from taking her mother's handbag but was punched and kicked by the suspect as he fought to get away. He pushed the 52-year-old woman to the floor before making off from the scene on foot.

On August 15, Blackwood was sentenced to four years and eight months' imprisonment.

PC Steve Keahey, of the Met's CID Croydon, said: "This was a vicious attack on two women on their own doorstep which has had a significant impact on their lives since.

"Blackwood observed the victims for some time and followed them a considerable distance to commit this appalling offence. I hope this sentence result brings some measure of comfort and a feeling of justice for the victims.

"Although incidents with this level of violence are rare, I would encourge anyone who withdraws large amounts of cash from banks to be aware of their surroundings and if they see anyone acting suspiciously or paying close attention to them, to go with their instinct and call police. Your call could be vital to preventing someone else being followed and robbed."