An elderly woman was left bleeding from a head wound by a robber who snatched her purse from her hands.
Tina Taylor, 46, of Oxcliffe Road, Morecambe, is beginning a two year eight month jail term after the horrifying robbery of the 83-year-old.
Taylor, who wore a white crucifix in the dock, stared straight ahead as Preston Crown Court was told how she was seen pacing up and down in front of the Premier store in Westgate, Morecambe, moments before the depraved attack at 10.30am on February 21.
Preston Crown Court heard her elderly victim and her husband were still grieving the sudden loss of their son.
The brave victim tried to struggle with Taylor but was pushed over.
Two good Samaritans chased Taylor until she gave up, and stayed with her until police arrived.
Prosecuting, Peter Barr said other members of public helped the victim who was left lying on the ground with a gash to the back of her head and a black eye.
In a harrowing victim impact statement the pensioner, who was left with a gash to the back of her head, and a black eye, said: " 2017 was a difficult year for my family.
"My husband was very ill and was in hospital for 10 weeks.
"Our beloved son died at 57 years old.
"We were hoping 2018 would be better."
She said Taylor's behaviour reminded her of a hyena and added: " Surely someone so young and healthy doesn' need to steal from pensioners.
"I do not pity the defendant, I despise her. I'm ashamed she lives in my home town."
Defending, Ros Scott-Bell said Taylor had been desperate for money as her benefits had been stopped and she "could not think what to do".
She said : "It does not excuse her behaviour but she wants to explain why she felt so desperate."
In a second incident eight days later, and while on bail, Taylor, who had been living in a mobile home, burgled her elderly landlady's house.
In a statement the 88-year-old victim said she felt betrayed as she had tried to help Taylor, who owed £3,000 to her in rent arrears, and had given her lifts and food.
Recorder Michael Blakey accepted Taylor 's life had been "extremely tough to say the least" .
But referring to the robbery he added: " She banged her head and didn't get up off the ground.
"You ran off, not caring one bit about how your victim was and what injuries she sustained. "
Dean Halliwell, 26, and Callum Wilkinson, 24, chased after Taylor until the police arrived.
The pair had been on a break from their jobs at Morecambe and Wize VW camper van restoration services on White Lund and had popped to a convenience store in Glentworth Road when they spotted the attack taking place.
Mr Wilkinson grabbed hold of Taylor and managed to wrestle the purse from her.