Boys held over pensioner's murder

News Shopper: Pensioner Paula Castle died after falling and hitting her head when muggers snatched her handbag in Greenford, west London Pensioner Paula Castle died after falling and hitting her head when muggers snatched her handbag in Greenford, west London

Two boys have been arrested on suspicion of murder by police investigating the death of a partially-sighted pensioner after being mugged.

Paula Castle, 85, was robbed in an alleyway off Oldfield Lane South in Greenford, west London, at 1.50pm on Monday and died in hospital.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said two males - aged 14 and 15 - are in custody and are due to be questioned at a London police station.

Mrs Castle, who is registered blind, was found with a head injury and taken to Ealing Hospital, then transferred to St Mary's Hospital, where she died shortly after 2am on Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination took place at Uxbridge Mortuary and found her cause of death to be head injuries.

Police said officers believe two males approached the pensioner from behind and stole her handbag. In the process the widow, who lived alone, was assaulted and fell to the pavement.

The suspects, who were dressed in dark clothing, ran off in the direction of Farndale Crescent with the handbag, which was recovered from the scene by officers.

Residents in Greenford spoke of their shock and anxiety about using the alleyway where Mrs Castle was attacked.

A lone bunch of flowers was tied to railings at the alley's entrance. A card attached to it read: "RIP (lady in alley). What a senseless waste of a good life xxx."

Trudy Shipp, 85, who lives near the crime scene, said she had been inundated with calls from concerned friends who thought she might have been the victim. The former lollipop lady said: "I have never been frightened of using the alley because I have lived here since 1974 and I've always used it."

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