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Victim Carole Mudie – “bubbly, happy”

A heartless robber, who preyed on elderly women in south west Birmingham, has been jailed after one of his victims died in hospital 16 days after he mugged her on the doorstep of her home of 30 years.

On January 6th this year, Marvin Blake approached 68 year old Carole Mudie on the pathway of her home in Hawkmoor Gardens, Hawkesley, as she arrived home from an evening at bingo. Blake wrenched away her handbag with such force that the Mrs Mudie was sent sprawling to the ground, suffering a fractured hip.

Mrs Mudie responded well following surgery but unfortunately, her condition worsened and she died of pneumonia 16 days after the incident. Medical experts concluded that, had it not been for the fall, Mrs Mudie could have expected to have lived for many more years.

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Marvin Blake – targeted vulnerable pensioners

Blake, 37 of Wakeford Road, West Heath, was already being sought by West Midlands Police following a spate of similar thefts in the area:

  • December 27th 2012 – purse dipped a 73-year-old lady in the Birthdays card shop in Northfield Shopping Centre. Blake was identified from CCTV images.
  • December 28th 2012 – pulled a 59-year-old female delivery driver from her van in Hawkesley Square and stole sat nav from the passenger seat. Both a passing motorist − who gave chase − and a postman out on his rounds recognised Blake as he ran from the scene.
  • January 3rd 2013  – purse dipped an 81-year-old woman queuing at the till in Martins Newsagents, Watford Road, Cotteridge. Blake was challenged by a staff member but managed to escape. Forensics experts found a droplet of blood on the floor which returned a DNA ‘hit’ identifying Blake as the offender.

Officers made several attempts to arrest the 37-year-old at various addresses across south Birmingham before tracking him to an address in Shannon Road, Kings Norton, where he was arrested from a flat.

Today at Birmingham Crown Court, Blake was sentenced to 11 years for manslaughter, four years for robbery and one year for theft – a total of 16 years to run concurrently.

Investigating officer, Sergeant Andy Bradley from West Midlands Police’s Force CID, said: “Blake would hang around places he was likely to encounter elderly ladies: retirement villages, post offices and community shops. He specifically targeted the most vulnerable members of society and would have continued to do so had we not tracked him down.

“Expert medical opinion deemed Mrs Mudie’s death was premature and undoubtedly brought on by injuries she sustained during the robbery. We pushed for a manslaughter charge and after questioning Blake admitted his actions were ultimately fatal.”

Mrs Mudie was a retired care worker and daughter Cary Healey described her as “bubbly, happy and with a great sense of humour”.

She added: “I’d like to thank all the people who’ve helped and supported me and my family over the past 11 months including friends, Victim Support and the police. They have all kept us going on a daily basis through this very tough and heartbreaking time.

“It is now time for me and my family to grieve and cherish the memories of my wonderful mum. My mum was my best friend, a fun loving selfless lady who lived for me and my children. Unfortunately no sentence will ever ease our loss.”

Det Sgt Bradley, added: “He would always try to discretely steal purses from his victims but, should his tactics be exposed, he thought nothing of using aggression or assaulting anyone who stood in his way.

“I’m pleased the judge has acknowledged the severity of his crimes and jailed him for many years where he can no longer pose a threat to our communities.”

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