POLICE are hunting a gang of youths who tried to rob a defenceless grandmother.
Margaret Woodhouse, 60, was jumped by five hooded males aged 13-15 as she walked along Blacon Avenue last Sunday evening.
As she approached the group at the corner of Stamford Road, they asked her for a cigarette and, when she declined, struck her across the face.
She fell unconscious to the ground. When she came to, she found the ring finger of her left hand was broken.
Police think the break occurred as her attackers tried to steal her engagement ring.
She managed to get herself home but didn't receive hospital treatment or report the incident to police until the following morning.
DC Andy Marshall, of Chester CID, described the attack as 'despicable.'
He said: 'This was a spur-of-the-moment attack carried out by a group who targeted a vulnerable person. This lady was on her own, she only goes out once a day for a 10-minute walk to stretch her legs for a medical condition and was obviously targeted by this group.'
Urging witnesses to come forward to help police with inquiries, he continued: 'The attackers were four or five males aged 13 to 15 wearing light hoodies. The attack happened at 8pm on Sunday while it was still light.
'It is a busy road in the day and evening; there must have been people who saw what went on or saw her lying on the pavement and they need to come forward.
'There may be people who associate with this group or who have heard them talking about it. Perhaps there was a group member who held back. I urge those people to tell their parents, to contact the police and give us the ID of the people responsible.'
DC Marshall said the police suspect the attack is linked to another incident two weeks ago and have found connections with several youths from Blacon.
Witnesses need to come forward with more evidence to be able to rule them out or take further action.
He said Mrs Woodhouse and her family have been deeply shocked by what happened, adding: 'She has been traumatised by it.
'We don't know how long she was unconscious.
'We have pieced together a sequence of events that suggest it happened at about 8pm and she may have been unconscious for a few minutes or much longer.
'I think if Mrs Woodhouse hadn't been in that place at that time it might have happened to someone else. They have assaulted her and knocked her to the ground unconscious, then tried to remove the ring.
'If they have gone that far they could have gone further, we don't know why they didn't - perhaps one of the group
turned round and said leave it or perhaps they were disturbed. It could happen again.'
Warning residents to be vigilant, DC Marshall sent out a message to the people who know the identity of Mrs Woodhouse's attackers.
He said: 'Everybody has a grandmother - how would you feel if it had been your granny in this attack?
'We are waiting for your call.' firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you see the attack on the corner of Blacon Avenue and Stamford Road at approximately 8pm last Sunday night? Did you see youths leaving the area or see Margaret Woodhouse lying on the pavement? Contact DC Andy Marshall on 01244 616102 or leave information anonymously on Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.