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Family remembers Collingwood senior killed in purse-snatching assault

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The family of a Collingwood, Ont. woman who died after being knocked to the ground during a purse snatching four years ago got a little closer to justice as the man who admitted robbing the senior pleaded guilty on Thursday to criminal negligence causing her death.

"On my drive home yesterday, I drove past the cemetery where she's buried, and I stopped, and I just said, 'We did it," said Marion Fenwick's niece, Jennifer Lougheed.

Police said the 86-year-old Fenwick was walking home from a store on Sept. 14, 2019, when a man on a bicycle, identified as Caleb Burgler, assaulted her, taking her purse containing $40 and some lottery tickets.

Fenwick was seriously injured and taken to the hospital.

"She just didn't make it. She just didn't make it," Lougheed said of her beloved Auntie M.

Never more than four feet 11 inches tall, Fenwick lived independently in Toronto most of her life before retiring to Collingwood.

"[She] never drove. [She] used the TTC and public transportation and foot power to go everywhere and always felt safe," Lougheed said, adding her aunt was known for being feisty, self-sufficient, and all about her family.

Marion Fenwick (L) is pictured with her family in this undated photo. (Supplied)

Lougheed said she and her sisters want their Auntie M remembered for how she lived, not how she died.

Burgler, now 33, was arrested three days after police released images of the man on a bicycle. He was initially charged with second-degree murder.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for late April, with Fenwick's family planning to attend to deliver victim impact statements.

"I don't believe there's ever any closure in an incident like this, but we can start to move forward," Lougheed said.

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