Lee Walsh aged 40 of George Street, Rochdale, was sentenced on Monday 3 February 2020 at Minshull Street Crown Court to 9 years in prison.

He previously pleaded guilty to six counts of robbery and one count of theft.

Detective Inspector Andy Naismith, of GMP’s Bury division, said: “There is no place for behaviour like this in Greater Manchester. These cowardly offenders thought they were above the law, stealing from their victims in an aggressive and threatening manner.

“I hope this sentencing can give their victims the closure they need after their terrifying ordeals.

“This stretch behind bars should give both these offenders the time they need to reflect on their appalling actions and the horrible way in which they treated innocent members of the public.”

Between Friday 17 May and Wednesday 29 May last year, a total of eight robberies occurred in Rochdale and Bury. The defendants targeted lone females before stealing their bags, leaving the victims fearing for their safety following the attacks.

On one of the occasions, a 52-year-old woman was approached by Walsh on High Street Walshaw as she was walking through a back alleyway. He grabbed her handbag and pushed her to the floor before placing the handbag up his jumper and running off.

On another occasion, a 58-year-old woman had left some bags on the porch of her workplace in Wardleworth Rochdale as she went to her car. On returning to the building she saw Walsh picking up her bags and pleaded with him to leave them. Walsh then pulled out a knife, which he pointed towards her before making off with the bags.

On a third occasion, a 69-year-old woman was walking along East Street in Bury on her way to receive cancer treatment when Walsh snatched her bag which contained a number of personal items including her cancer medication. Walsh then ran off to a waiting VW Golf and passed the bag to Ellis who was sat in the passenger seat before driving away.

Marie Ellis aged 35 of Peel Lodge, Bury was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of robbery and four counts of handling stolen goods back in November last year.


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