A man who robbed an elderly poppy seller and left her with life-threatening injuries has been convicted for his “vicious” attack.

Patrick O’Leary, of Grasmere Gardens, Harrow, targeted his 70-year-old victim outside her home in Stanmore and tried to steal her handbag.

When she resisted, the 46-year-old violently attacked her, causing a serious head injury that put her in hospital for six months.

On the day she was assaulted, the victim had been out selling poppies in Harrow town centre. Her bag, which contained a freedom pass and cash, has never been recovered.

O’Leary was convicted of robbery and inflicting grievous bodily harm at Harrow Crown Court and will be sentenced at a later date.

District crown prosecutor Ellis Williams said: “This was a vicious robbery on an elderly lady that left her suffering serious injuries.

“Having heard from witnesses to the incident and being shown CCTV footage placing O’Leary and his vehicle in the vicinity of the attack, the jury rejected his claim that he was not responsible.

“I hope this conviction provides some closure to the victim and her family.”