A drug addict would-be robber who targeted a 58-year-old woman in the street has been jailed for three years.
Anthony Fellows had only been in the court the day before he targeted the woman in a Hartlepool street and left her terrified of coming across other people walking towards her.
Fellows, who has 175 offences on his record, had been sentenced for a previous theft by town magistrates the day before the attempted street robbery.
The 34-year-old attacked his victim as she left her Hartlepool home to walk to her daughter’s house to watch the X-Factor on television, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“There was a struggle,” said Liam O’Brien, prosecuting.
“The victim refused to let go of her handbag, but was eventually forced to do so.
“Fellows fled with the bag, but dropped it after a few metres.”
The court heard an acquaintance of the victim who was in the street also knew the identity of Fellows.
“It may be he thought he would inevitably be found out,” said Mr O’Brien.
“He returned to the street a short time later, and stood bare-chested with his arms outstretched.
“When the victim demanded his name, he gave it.”
The court heard when Fellows was arrested he gave various accounts to the police.
“He first said he wasn’t there,” said Mr O’Brien. “He then said he was there, but had not touched the victim.
“He then went on to claim he had mistaken the victim for another woman who had some of his property.
“In effect, Fellows was claiming he had mistaken a 58-year-old woman for someone half that age.”
Mr O’Brien said the victim suffered a wrist injury, and has been left fearful of any pedestrians who walk towards her.
Fellows, of Harrow Street, Hartlepool, denied attempted robbery on September 6, last year.
He was convicted after a trial lasting two days.
The court heard Fellows has previous convictions for 175 offences, and was given a conditional discharge for theft by Hartlepool magistrates the day before the attempted robbery.
Andrew Teate, for Fellows, said: “Mr Fellows has been on remand for five months, and during that time his brother died of a drugs overdose.
“They were close, and were both drug users.
“If ever there was a catalyst for Mr Felllows to clean up his lifestyle, it is the death of his brother.”
The Recorder, Mr Simon Kealey, jailed Fellows for three years.
The recorder told him: “Your victim was minding her own business that day, and I have heard of the effect this attempted robbery had upon her.
“You have a bad record of acquisitive crime, although this is your first offence of robbery.
“I hope the death of your brother will encourage you to move away from drugs and alcohol.”