A drug-using robber who mugged an 88-year-old Brighouse woman after following her back to her own front door has been jailed for two years.
A judge heard that CCTV footage captured 41-year-old Steven Clay watching his vulnerable victim as she walked to her local shop near her home to do her afternoon grocery shopping last month.
Prosecutor Alisha Kaye told Bradford Crown Court that the complainant, who had lived in her home for more than 50 years, withdrew some money from a cashpoint before going into the shop to buy some groceries.
When she returned to her front door she put her bags down between her legs in order to use her key, but Clay then pushed her and snatched her bag containing £84 in cash, a mobile phone, her bus pass and cards.
“Luckily she did not suffer any injuries bearing in mind her age,” said Miss Kaye.
In a victim impact statement the complainant described how she had been left feeling shocked by the incident.
“She said her knees went weak and she got short of breath,” said Miss Kaye.
She said the victim still felt tense and scared six days after the robbery and had been caused inconvenience because she had to replace her bank cards and was not able to get the same mobile phone.
The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC was told that Clay’s record of previous convictions extended to 12 pages and included more than 60 offences.
Miss Kaye said his offending, which did not include any previous robbery matters, began 30 years ago when Clay was a juvenile.
Clay, of Halifax Road, Hipperholme, pleaded guilty when he appeared from custody and the judge heard that he had not been in trouble, apart from a shoplifting offence, between 2004 and 2016.
His barrister Stephen Wood said Clay had settled down with a partner and family, but when that relationship broke down he went into a downward spiral which included taking drugs again.
Jailing Clay Judge Durham Hall said the CCTV footage, which was not played in court, confirmed that he had watched his victim and targeted her that afternoon.
The judge said pushing a woman of that age could have had potentially catastrophic results.
Judge Durham Hall said after a trial Clay would have faced a prison term of about three years after taking account of the sentencing guidelines for such offences, but his sentence had to be reduced to reflect his early guilty plea and any mitigation.
“Of course if you do anything like this again the gloves will come off absolutely Mr Clay and you know you could end up with a very long sentence,” said the judge.