A HOMELESS man who callously robbed an elderly couple in the street has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Marek Merrifield, 38, admitted the crime when he appeared before Bournemouth Crown Court.

The court heard the couple, a 79-year-old woman and an 84-year-old man in a mobility scooter, were targeted as they walked along Stalbridge Road in Poole on Wednesday November 27 last year.

The woman was walking alongside her husband’s scooter when Merrifield grabbed her handbag from around her neck, causing her to fall backwards. Her husband tried to intervene but Merrifield pushed him to the ground before fleeing into Hazelbury Road with her handbag.

Following an extensive police investigation inquiries led to Merrifield being arrested the following day. He was released on police bail and charged with an offence of robbery several weeks later.

Detective Constable Will Burnett, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said: “I welcome this sentence and hopefully it will bring some closure to the victims.

“It was fortunate that they were not seriously injured, however, they were very shaken up and are only just coming to terms with what happened to them.

“I praise the good work of all involved in bringing this offender to justice.”