Hooded mugger subjected teen to terrifying attack for the sake of a bus fare

Graham Forbes
Graham Forbes

A HOODED mugger subjected a teenage girl to a terrifying street robbery for the sake of a bus fare.

Drug addict Graham Forbes grabbed the 18-year-old student’s handbag after his girlfriend kicked him out and he wanted to get from Hartlepool to his parents’ home in Trimdon Grange.

He pounced on the victim from behind as she walked alone along Raby Road, Hartlepool, at around 10pm at night.

The teenager put up a brave struggle as she tried to fight off Forbes, 31.

But he yanked the bag with such force that he broke its strap and ran off with it.

He was jailed for three years at Teesside Crown Court after admitting to the robbery on January 10.

Describing the attack, near the Mill House Leisure Centre, prosecutor Sue Jacobs said: “As she turned round he grabbed at her handbag over her right shoulder.

“In a statement she described how she struck out at the male on a number of occasions to try to get him away from her.

“She grabbed hold of the hood of his coat and she was screaming at the top of her voice to get someone’s attention.

“The male screamed back calling her a name and pulling at the shoulder strap of her bag. Eventually it snapped and he made off.”

A lad, who was with a group of young people, ran after Forbes and he was arrested nearby by police.

The victim told in a statement how the robbery has left her too afraid go out on her own, even in the daytime.

She said: “Even though it only lasted for seconds, it will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Laura Miller, mitigating, said: “There had been an argument and his ex-partner asked him to leave. He had no money to take the bus back to his parents in Trimdon and was facing a night on the streets.

“He is shocked and embarrassed by his behaviour and states this is the worst thing he’s ever done.”

She appealed for the sentence to be suspended so Forbes, of Berry Avenue, Trimdon Grange, could tackle his heroin addiction.

But the court heard he had a previous conviction from January 2012 of stealing a handbag from another woman in the street, but was spared jail.

Judge Peter Bowers said: “This was a night attack on a vulnerable lone female.

“You were affected by heroin, you were hooded and you targeted her solely so you could get money for bus fare and also more drugs.

“You have heard, and I have heard, of the profound effect it’s had upon this girl.”