A 100-YEAR-OLD Holocaust survivor died after her neck was broken by a mugger who saw her as an easy target, a court heard yesterday.
Zofija Kaczan was battered from behind and knocked to the ground by handbag snatcher Arthur Waskiewicz as she made her daily walk to church, the jury heard.
The bleeding widow managed to get up and stagger to the place of worship. But she died of pneumonia in hospital nine days later as a result of her “terrible” injuries.
Before her death she managed to describe her attacker to cops in Derby.
Waskiewicz, 40 — said to be so desperate for cash he tried to sell his dog — was arrested at his dad’s London home.
Prosecutor Kate Brunner QC told the court that “sprightly” Zofija was 100 a month before her death and was in “remarkably good shape for her age”. She said the widow — forced to work in factories in her native Poland by Nazis during World War Two — was targeted yards from home in Normanton, Derby.
CCTV from neighbours showed her leaving her house last May.
DESCRIBED ATTACKER TO COPS BEFORE SHE DIED
A Seat Leon driven by Polish national Waskiewicz was caught on film going the same way 20 seconds later.
Further footage picked out the car’s brake lights coming on when he “decided to rob her”.
In a window’s reflection, another camera showed the car stop and a “tall shape”, said to be Waskiewicz, get out of the driver’s side, returning shortly after and speeding off. Mrs Brunner said: “He attacked her, yanking the bag from her and leaving her injured in the road. She was small, on her own, vulnerable, an easy target for a man desperate for money.”
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Two pals of Zofija found her steadying herself against a parked car. Mrs Brunner said: “They noticed she did not have her handbag with her. She was repeatedly saying, ‘keys, keys’.”
More CCTV showed Waskiewicz dumping Zofija’s green handbag.
In it was a receipt with one of his fingerprints on. He denies manslaughter and robbery. Trial continues at Derby crown court.