Aug 30 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
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A 'DANGEROUS' serial mugger who caused a pensioner facial injuries by shoving her over during a violent robbery has been jailed.
Saturnin Barwinski (pictured), 24, of no fixed address, attacked victim Joanna Weaver, 72, from behind in Hartington Close, South Harrow, on December 20 last year as she made her way home from a night out.
She fell and struck her forehead on the pavement and she lying sprawled on the floor, he pushed her head further into the ground before fleeing with her handbag.
Mrs Weaver was taken to a north-west London hospital with serious injuries: she had fractured the bridge of her nose and needed 40 stitches to cuts on her face.
In a statement, Harrow Police said: "Officers investigating the robbery had very few leads to follow.
"However, one crucial point in the investigation was that Mrs Weaver told officers that just before she was attacked, her attention was drawn to a car driving at speed down the road before it parked up.
"This caused her some alarm and made her want to hurry inside. A witness was able to provide investigators with the first four letters of the registration number of this car.
"Investigating officers, liaising with colleagues in Ealing and Barnet, were aware of similar attacks where the attacker had used the same modus operandi as seen in the attack on Mrs Weaver."
Barwinski was arrested three days after the attack by officers from Notting Hill following a similar attack there on a woman in her 50s. The victim in that case activated the GPS signal on her iPhone which was in her handbag at the time of the robbery and police zeroed in on the trace.
At the time of his arrest, Barwinski was driving a car with the same partial registration number of the car that was used in Mrs Weaver case.
Barwinski admitted carrying out three robberies between 20 and 23 December 2011 - including one in Ealing earlier on the same night he mugged Mrs Weaver - and was found guilty of the Harrow offence he denied on Wednesday last week. He will be sentenced at the same court on a date to be specified.
Investigating officer Sergeant Tony McGovern, of Harrow Crime Squad, said: "This is an excellent result at court today. This was a long and protracted investigation. Barwinski targeted particularly vulnerable people.
"He used violence as his first course of action and has put people in fear. He is a danger to the public."
Mrs Weaver said: "I'm very please that justice has been done and that he wont have the chance to do this to any to other person.
"This could have easily have been a fatal attack and myself and my family will be attending court when the sentence is passed.
"I wish to thank the Metropolitan Police and in particular the investigating officer, who have been fantastic throughout."