A VIOLENT thug has been jailed after trying to pull a terrified woman from her car so he could steal the vehicle.
Andrew Clark, 37, had only been released from prison for a separate offence just days before he grabbed a petrified Laura Seago while she was sat in her blue Renault car outside the Co-op in Cornwall Street, Hartlepool.
Miss Seago, 21, was sitting in the driver’s seat with the engine running, waiting for a friend who had gone inside the shop when the 5pm incident happened.
Prosecutor Graeme Gaston told Teesside Crown Court that Miss Seago was sitting alone when she saw a man approach and look in at her.
Mr Gaston said; “She was concerned about his behaviour. She went to lock her vehicle doors, but as she went to do this the defendant lunged forward and opened the driver’s door.
“He grabbed her around the chest area, pulled her forward, and was shouting for her to get out of the car.
“She was terrified, not knowing what was happening. She could not get out as her seatbelt was on.
“The defendant shouted ‘give me your car’. She attempted to push the defendant away from her.
“The defendant noticed she had a shoulder bag. He paused for a second. She was shouting ‘get off me’ and called for her friend.”
The court heard Clark ran away towards Shrewsbury Street and Miss Seago rang her boyfriend who arrived and checked the area before Clark was later arrested.
Just three days before the offence, Clark – who has 20 convictions for more than 80 offences relating to dishonesty and violence – was arrested for attempted burglary.
Mr Gaston said Richard Watson was woken up at 2.15am at his home in Glamis Walk, Hartlepool, after being disturbed by a scraping noise.
He went to investigate and found a yard brush that was not his, a metal rake, a set of keys and a screwdriver.
Mr Gaston said the rubber seal around Mr Watson’s window had been broken and blood on the metal frame was later matched to Clark’s.
Clark, of Milton Road, Hartlepool, admitted attempted robbery on May 2 and attempted burglary on April 29.
Paul Cleasby, mitigating, said entry was not gained and nothing was taken in the attempted burglary.
He added that there was no physical injury during the attempted robbery, it was not pre-planned, nothing was taken and Clark was “ashamed of himself”.
Judge Michael Taylor sentenced Clark to 21 months for the attempted robbery and 15 months for the attempted burglary.
Regarding the offence on Miss Seago, he told Clark: “You manhandled her and tried to get her out of the car.
“Not surprisingly she was truly terrified about what happened. She bravely managed to rebuff your approach.”