A FAILED asylum seeker stalked a 76-year-old grandmother, beat her to the ground, broke her hip and stole her bag – because he did not have enough money for cigarettes.

Abdihamid Omar watched Barbara Newell leave a post office in Lawrence Hill, followed her for 20 minutes and then attacked her from behind, a court heard.

He grabbed her around her throat, kneed her in the back of her leg and pulled at her bag, sending her sprawling to the ground where she broke her hip, repeatedly hitting her arm and calling her a bitch.

Then he bent back the fingers of the 5ft tall pensioner’s hand to make her let go of her bag, containing £36.
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Mrs Newell, a widow for 25 years from Redfield, was left with a fractured hip, which had to be replaced, and suffered a heart attack following her ordeal. She feared she was going to die.

Today her family described Omar as “vermin” and called for him to be deported.

Their call was backed by MPs, who said his permission to stay in the UK should be reconsidered.

Bristol Crown Court heard yesterday that Omar had left his native Somalia, was refused asylum but granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, also known as permanent residence.

The 35-year-old, of Haviland House, Lamb Street, St Jude’s, pleaded guilty to robbery.

The court heard he tested positive for cocaine after his arrest but denied using anything other than Khat, an amphetamine- like drug which is chewed.

Jailing him for five years, Judge Michael Roach told him: “I regard this offence as thoroughly nasty and mean.”

Mrs Newell’s son Paul, 49, an HGV driver from Bristol, told the Evening Post: “He should have got at least eight years. I went to pick my mother up today but she is absolutely heartbroken. She wanted to leave the flat but she couldn’t face him. You don’t give in to vermin like that.”

The court heard Omar was captured on CCTV on July 10 both at the post office and running off with Mrs Newell’s bag.

Rodney Wilson, defending, said his client was a devout Muslim, married with a child and another on the way, who was a singer looked up to by youngsters in his community. He said on the day in question his wife and child had gone to London, he went to the cashpoint and only had £6.

Mr Wilson said that after being told he could not use his card in the shop, Omar “went outside, he turned right and sat at the bus stop thinking how he could get some money”.

“He saw a lady leave and go to the left and he decided that he would steal her bag.”

Mrs Newell’s daughter Rosina, 53, a shopworker from St Anne’s, said: “I hope he gets deported. He took away her dignity.”

Indefinite Leave to Remain can lead to British citizenship but can also be revoked if someone who has granted it then commits a serious offence.

Stephen Williams, Lib Dem MP for Bristol West, which includes Lawrence Hill, said: “Those who have been given the full protection of the British state have an obligation to be law abiding citizens and those who abuse our hospitality should have the full force of the law against them and be returned to their country of origin, if possible.”