A BRITISH woman was subjected to a terrifying knife-point mugging that left her with a badly gashed thumb in the latest of a series of robberies on the Costa del Sol.

Sandra Howells rushed to victim Sue McCleary’s aid despite the mugger still standing over his target, who had been knocked to the ground in the incident.

Now police believe that the vicious assault was carried out by a young male who has only been out of jail for a week.

Since his release, there have been reportedly been three knife-point muggings in Mijas and La Cala in Malaga, Spain.

Recently Released Prisoner Thought Responsible For Knife 1 1
Car park by the Miramar Centre in Fuengirola

This latest was carried out on British expat McCleary on Monday, November 22 at around 10.30 am on the border between Mijas and Fuengirola.

Self-employed beautician McCleary, who is in her early 50s and has lived on the coast for 35 years had just parked her Dacia Duster metres away from Dunnes car park by the Miramar Centre when she was attacked from behind by what she described to police as ‘a young male wearing a white hoody and face mask’ as she was locking the car up.

Sue
Sue McCleary (Image: Olive Press)

Her friend, Howells, 65, was around 50 metres away walking McCleary’s two dogs, one a mastiff the other a Scottish terrier, when she heard her friend scream.

Without thinking, or realising the danger, she immediately ran to help McCleary who by this time had been forced onto the floor, still struggling with the attacker over possession of her travel bag.

Howells was shocked to see that the mugger was holding a knife to her friend’s neck.

As McCleary grimly held on to her bag, the attacker slashed the strap, and in the process gashed her thumb, which later needed six stitches. He then snatched the bag and fled in the direction of the dry river bed bordering the scene.

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Mccleary stitched thumb

Helping her friend off the floor, Howells at first thought the blood on Mccleary’s walking jacket was a stomach wound.

McCleary had planned to go to the Town Hall to pay her rates for two properties later that day, so had a large amount of cash on her. The bag also contained credit cards, medication, and a mobile phone.

Police took her to Las Lagunas Health Centre for the thumb to be stiched up while Howells looked after the dogs.

The two expat women went to the local police station the next day to identify the attacker.

A police investigation is still ongoing.

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