Woman who attacked widow laughs in court

Mona Haj Youssef. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Mona Haj Youssef. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A WOMAN who mugged the widow of murdered church organist Alan Greaves laughed in the dock as she was sentenced.

Mona Haj Youssef, 24, attacked 64-year-old Maureen Greaves just two days before the trial over her husband Alan’s murder was due to start.

Maureen and Alan Greaves

Maureen and Alan Greaves

Her husband died after being attacked just minutes after he left his home in High Green, Sheffield, making his way to play the organ at a church service on Christmas Eve, 2012. He died in hospital on December 27.

Jonathan Bowling, 22, who admitted murder, was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years, and Ashley Foster, also 22, was convicted of manslaughter after a trial and sentenced to nine years behind bars for the motiveless attack which provoked shock and outrage across the country.

But just days before Foster’s trial was due to start Mrs Greaves was attacked outside shops, leaving her shaken, bruised and with a cut cheek.

Youssef – a former university student was given a two-year probation supervision order and 12 months’ mental health treatment, and ordered to pay £250 in compensation for assault.

Mrs Greaves has told how she was happy with the outcome and hoped the defendant would get help.

She added: “I am pleased this went to court because it means she will get some help.

“Not only did she hit me, she was extremely angry. I’m glad she is going to be supervised by the probation service and get some treatment for her mental health problems. Hopefully she will be able to be in society afterwards and not harm people.”

“It’s for her own good as well as everybody else’s.”

Speaking at the time of the attack, she previously said: “It was very frightening. The worst thing was it made me imagine Alan being attacked and what he was feeling.”

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that Youssef, of Sheffield, punched Maureen in the face on June 22 last year.

Martin Ward, prosecuting, said Youssef grabbed Maureen’s handbag and swore at her before striking her. “She swung towards her, hit her across the face, and knocked her glasses off,” he said.

Mrs Greaves dropped to the ground to try to find her glasses, and Youssef continued to hit her.

The attack stopped when Mrs Greaves son Peter, who was walking ahead, realised what was happening and ran to help.

Youssef was found guilty in her absence at an earlier hearing of assault by beating.

Lucy Hogarth, defending, said Youssef has mental health problems which stem from drug abuse, but described her current mental condition as ‘stable’.

But when told she would have to pay £250 compensation, Youssef laughed and shouted: “Yeah, £250.”

The chairman of the bench told her: “You started off life as an intelligent young woman at university – this is where drugs get you.” Youssef was also sentenced for stealing £151 worth of items from Tesco in a separate matter.