Robert Vickers jailed for death of woman, 81, in Birmingham robbery

A wealth of medical evidence was obtained that led to Vickers being further charged with manslaughter of Ann Preston in Billesley

A violent robber has been jailed after causing the death of a woman whose handbag he stole.

Robert Vickers was jailed for nine-and-a-half years on 30 January after he admitted the manslaughter of Ann Preston during a robbery in January 2020.

Vickers, 42, approached Ann in Bromwall Road, Billesley, as she was walking to her local post office.

He stopped to ask her for directions, but continued following her before pulling her to the ground whilst stealing her handbag. Vickers, who had 45 previous theft convictions, was later identified by officers who watched CCTV of the incident.

He was subsequently recalled to prison having served part of a nine-year sentence for aggravated burglary.

Ann was left with injuries including a severely dislocated shoulder, a broken rib and significant bruising.

This caused her health to deteriorate and she later died on 27 February 2020. Vickers pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to six years and nine months imprisonment in July that year.

However, police continued an investigation to establish if Vickers’ actions had caused Ann’s death.

A wealth of medical evidence was obtained that led to Vickers being further charged with manslaughter, which he pleaded guilty to on 23 December, 2022.

Robert Vickers
Robert Vickers
Robert Vickers

Family tribute

In his victim impact statement, Ann’s partner Brian said: “After more than two years after the death of my partner Ann, I find it very hard to put into words how the events of her death have affected me.

“My beloved partner of 35 years, died, on her own, in hospital, after weeks of suffering and pain.

“Not only did she suffer a violent robbery where her bag was ripped from her arm, her horrific injuries and death were completely unnecessary. Not only did this man rob her of her handbag, he robbed her of her and my life.”

What has West Midlands Police said about the case?

DC Emily Sparkes, from Force CID, said: “This was a cowardly attack on a vulnerable lady which robbed Ann of her belongings and, ultimately, her life.

“Thanks to the hard work of officers investigating, we were able to build a case against Robert Vickers and ensure he was tried for manslaughter.

“We hope news of this sentencing can bring some comfort and closure to Ann’s family and friends.”

Vickers was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court and the nine- and-a-half year sentence will be added to the time he has already served for the robbery.

He was also given an extended five year licence to apply on his release.