A STREET mugger who was given a community order last November is today beginning a jail term after a judge criticised the magistrates who passed sentence on him.
And Aaron Jack, of Holmfirth, was branded a menace to young women.
In September last year Jack subjected a 20-year-old woman to a terrifying early hours robbery in Huddersfield town centre after she asked him for some money to make a phone call.
Despite police efforts including the use of CCTV footage Jack was not questioned about that robbery until he was caught soon after carrying out a bag snatch from another lone female in the town two months later.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC was told yesterday that 23-year-old Jack, of Cliff Road, was given a community order for the later theft- from-person offence even though the magistrates were aware that he was also facing the more serious robbery matter.
At Bradford Crown Court yesterday Judge Durham Hall revoked the community sentence despite Jack’s good progress on it and jailed him for two-and-a-half years for the robbery last September.
Prosecutor Duncan Ritchie told the court how the woman had been at a town centre club until 6am and when she left she was unable to telephone her boyfriend because the battery on her mobile phone was flat.
She asked Jack, who was wearing a black hooded top, if he could lend her 20p and he said he would ask his boss for some money.
After taking the woman to the Huddersfield Music School he knocked on the doors, but he then grabbed the woman by her shoulders and threw her to the ground.
Mr Ritchie said Jack straddled the woman holding her down by her shoulders as she shouted for help.
Jack left the area in a red car and the woman sought help from a nearby cafe after realising her bag had been taken.
It was not until Jack was arrested for the second bag snatch in November that police found items belonging to his first victim at his home.
The red car was parked outside the property.
Jack maintained that he was not involved in the robbery even after he was identified by the victim and although he went on to plead guilty to the offence his barrister Michelle Colborne confirmed that her client had no recollection of the attack.
Miss Colborne said Jack had suffered psychological problems, but he had made fundamental changes during the five months since the community order was imposed by the Huddersfield magistrates.
She submitted that her client was ready for change, but Judge Durham Hall said he was satisfied that Jack had seen, followed and robbed a vulnerable lady who had been doing no more than enjoying a night out.
“You purported to help her. You purported to take her and indeed took her into an area where to her great horror and surprise you attacked her,” the judge told Jack.
“I don’t have a victim impact statement, but it is easy to see and understand the trauma that that young lady would feel.”
The judge said if the magistrates were aware of the outstanding robbery offence “fundamental principles were ignored” when the court dealt with him in November.
“That court went on to deal with you quite inappropriately, in my judgement, by sentencing you to a community order,” added the judge.
“The fact that the magistrates court have dealt with you significantly affects the power of this court to make a proper assessment and indeed to punish you properly and I am, to say the least, concerned if not more by this turn of events.
“I am satisfied that this offence indicates you do pose, until you come to your senses, a threat to young women in this area.”