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Man charged over assault of elderly woman outside inner-city church

A man has been charged over an early morning assault on a 78-year-old woman on the steps of a Melbourne church.

A 26-year-old man from Box Hill North has been charged with assault offences, robbery and theft over the attack on Penelope Katsavos, who was allegedly set upon as she opened the South Yarra church on March 13.

The man was arrested on Thursday morning.

The man was arrested on Thursday morning.Credit:Nine News

Investigators allege a man assaulted the victim as she walked along Barry Street before stealing her shopping trolley containing personal items about 6.15am on Saturday.

The man is in police custody and will face court on Friday charged with recklessly causing serious injury, intentionally causing serious injury, recklessly causing injury, intentionally causing injury, robbery and theft.

Ms Katsavos’ trolley was later found nearby in Garden Street with the victim’s wallet, phone and cash still inside.

Penelope Katsavos in hospital after the attack, in a photo supplied by her family.

Penelope Katsavos in hospital after the attack, in a photo supplied by her family.Credit:Nine News

Ms Katsavos was reunited in hospital on Thursday with her 83-year-old husband Thomas, who she cares for full time, Nine News reports.

On Wednesday Stonnington Crime Investigation Unit detectives released images and CCTV footage of a man walking in Chapel Street who they say is shown with the victim’s trolley.

Her daughter-in-law, Erin Katsavos, told 3AW on Wednesday that the woman had a fractured pelvis, a broken wrist and bleeding on her brain in two places.

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