A man who robbed a woman in broad daylight in Peterborough city centre has been jailed.

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 6, the victim – a woman in her forties – was walking home from work in the city centre, along the Embankment, when 30-year-old Petrica Mustafa grabbed her from behind.

He pushed her to the ground and snatched her handbag which was hung across her body, forcibly pulling at it until the strap broke and made off with it along The Embankment.

The woman, who was in a state of shock and without a phone, managed to make her way home where police were called.

Officers managed to use data from the woman’s Apple watch to track her mobile phone’s movements, and the case was found discarded on The Embankment underneath a CCTV camera.

Reviews of footage tracked Mustafa and showed him coming out of some bushes nearby, where officers later found the woman’s purse and contents of her handbag.

Continuing to track the mobile phone’s movements, officers were led to the Lincoln Road area of Millfield where they spotted Mustafa and a woman who confirmed the stolen mobile phone was at their home address.

Mustafa, of St Paul's Road, New England, Peterborough, was arrested and later charged with robbery.

He appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday, May 17 where he was sentenced to one year and two months in prison after having he pleaded guilty to the offence.

Detective Constable Guiste from the Acquisitive Crime Team (ACT), who investigated, said: “Understandably this was a frightening experience for the woman.

"I know she has struggled a lot with coming to terms with what happened and often thinks about what she could have done to prevent it from happening.

“This was absolutely not her fault – no one who is victim of robbery should feel that way, this was the actions of a callous man who carried out an unprovoked attack on a lone woman.

“While it doesn’t make it any less concerning, I would like to reassure the public that incidents of this nature are rare in Peterborough. I’m pleased we were able to convict Mustafa and put him before the courts.”

In a statement provided to the courts, the victim said: “I have never been a victim of such a violent attack before. At the time of the incident, I was walking home from work – this is something I do daily and have done for years. There has never been a reason for me to feel unsafe whilst doing such a mundane task.

“After the incident, I felt completely sick to my stomach. When I close my eyes, I replay it in my mind. I feel myself looking behind and seeing him walking behind me.

"I replay the incident over and over in my head and think what could I have done differently to stop this from happening to me? I try to tell myself this is not my fault, yet I cannot get away from the thoughts that I could have done something different.”

Safety advice can be found on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary dedicated personal safety information webpages.