'I didn't do it', says bag-snatch accused

A MAN accused of snatching an elderly woman’s handbag and leaving her bloodied and bruised on the ground has denied involvement in the crime.

Supporters of Ursula Bakker filed into Tamworth Local Court yesterday to hear the case against Samuel Glen Tighe, 21, after he allegedly stole the 79-year-old’s handbag on December 12 last year.

Tighe is charged with aggravated robbery and appeared via videolink from Coffs Harbour, after he was granted Supreme Court bail in January.

The alleged robbery occurred in the Tamworth City Plaza car park, where Mrs Bakker was confronted from behind.

The 79-year-old resisted and, during the struggle, fell to the ground, as a result suffering a bleed on the brain, a broken shoulder and eye socket and other injuries.

Yesterday’s brief appearance was the first time Mrs Bakker’s supporters had seen the alleged attacker.

While Tighe is yet to enter a plea, his solicitor, Fiona Hadlington, said identification would be an issue.

“Mr Tighe has made a statement identifying another person, as has another person,” Ms Hadlington said.

“I have been served a brief. There are still some things outstanding, however that is not the reason for the adjournment.

“I need some further time to read it with him.”

Crown prosecutor Colin Dalrymple said items had been sent away to a laboratory to try and find traces of DNA of the accused.

“DNA analysis on a handbag and purse that was stolen from the complainant,” he told the court.

Mr Dalrymple said the DNA analysis was “likely to be important in identification”. 

He told the court a number of witnesses had provided statements about a group of people that were seen at the scene “then seen in possession of the purse ... then allegedly seen swapping their shirts”. 

The court was told the analysis could take months, as opposed to weeks.

Tighe remains on bail and will return to court on March 26.

As part of the 21-year-old’s Supreme Court bail, he is not to enter Tamworth unless for court appearances.

He has been bailed to live at an undisclosed location, remain at home on a curfew at night and to report to police every day.

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