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Friday, 2 November, 2001, 16:36 GMT
Murder hunt three months after mugging
Gloucestershire Police
A murder inquiry has been launched in Gloucestershire into the death of an elderly woman three months after she was injured in a robbery.

Dorothy Thomas, 71, was left with a broken arm and dislocated shoulder after she was pushed to the ground and her bag snatched in Tewkesbury in July.

She was taken to Cheltenham General Hospital and then transferred to Tewkesbury Hospital where she died on 20 October.

Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman Suzanne Lightfoot said: "Police are investigating the possibility that the injuries she sustained in the robbery led to her death."

Dorothy Thomas
Dorothy Thomas' bag contained 450
The robbery happened in front of the Kwik Save supermarket in Eagles Avenue on 15 July.

She was pushed to the ground by a white male with dark hair who took her handbag which contained 450.

After the attack Mrs Thomas managed to get to the house of her twin sister, Margaret Nixon.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kelly said: "Dorothy suffered a serious injury as the result of the robbery in Tewkesbury.

"Although this was not the direct cause of her death it led to a deterioration in her health from which she never recovered.

"It is on this basis that we are now treating this as a murder investigation."

'Zest for life'

Her brother-in-law Nick Nixon, of Tewkesbury, said Mrs Thomas - who was known as Dot or Dolly - had been an active, independent woman with a "zest for life".

"I cannot understand how anyone could be so callous to do something like that to a little 5 feet-tall elderly lady. He is disgusting.

"Dolly actually told him that he'd hurt her and asked him to help her up but he just ran off.

"I can't believe someone would behave like that. Her death and the robbery have really upset the whole family.

"The person might not have meant her to die but that is the result of what happened."

Mrs Thomas had lived on her own in the town's Priors Park area since her husband Edgar died 12 years ago.

Mr Nixon said: "Dolly was a very bright, active lady up until the time of the robbery.

"Dolly always insisted that she wanted the man who had done this to her caught. Her family want to see the same thing."

Mrs Thomas had been looking forward to moving into a new warden-controlled flat just before she died.

See also:

22 Oct 01 | England
Son condemns 'cowardly' attackers
11 Aug 00 | Scotland
'No leniency' for OAP killer
08 Apr 00 | Scotland
Mugging victim, 84, dies in hospital
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