A drug addict who robbed a woman of £200 at a Luton cash point was chased by members of the public and caught. The 36 year old was beaten up and forced to hand back the money before the police arrived to arrest him.

 

Prosecutor Hilary Neville told Luton Crown Court that the 54-year-old woman was using the cash point at the Co-op in Biscot Road at twenty past five in the afternoon on 25th April this year.

 

“She withdrew her card and when she went to take the cash the defendant stepped in and took the money. The victim tried to grab it back, but he pushed her and she fell to her knees. Members of the public went to her assistance and chased him. He was assaulted and brought back. He was forced to return the £200 and apologised to the victim,” said the prosecutor.

 

The police arrived and he told them: “I have been stupid.” When he was searched, a scalpel, that he said he used for craft work, was found. It was not used during the robbery. He told the police he was a drug addict, had no money and was hungry and thirsty.

 

The defendant pleaded guilty to robbery and possessing an offensive weapon.

 

Christopher Harrington, defending, said: “He suffered quite serious injuries and was treated for facial injuries at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital. He is ashamed and genuinely remorseful. At the time, he was homeless and living in a vehicle. His father would not allow him in the family address and he was in debt to a drug dealer.”

 

Mr Harrington said that since the robbery, he had gone “Cold Turkey” and attends Cocaine Anonymous.

 

He said he was now supported by his family and had “rekindled” his relationship with his girlfriend.

 

Judge Lynn Tayton QC adjourned sentence for a drug rehabilitation assessment. She granted the defendant bail. She told him: “I am not giving promises about what I will do. I want to see what probation say about you. You have pleaded guilty to serious offences, be under no illusion the court will be looking at a custodial sentence.”