A PETRIFIED passenger has told of a terrifying late-night Metro attack in which he was forced to take off some of his clothes.
Helmut Izaks, who was in poor health, had been travelling from his Sunderland home to Newcastle, to catch a night bus to London.
But the 58-year-old’s trip took a sinister turn when Matthew Cox got on at East Boldon and threatened to stab him if he did not hand over all of his possessions.
By the end of the ordeal Mr Izaks, who feared for his life, had lost his tie, belt, coat, gloves, camera, book, glasses, medication, phone, wallet, house keys, coach ticket and overnight bag.
He refused to hand over his trousers, but was in the process of taking off his shoes when the 21-year-old robber got off the train at Fellgate.
Mr Izaks, who is a Green party candidate for Millfield in the forthcoming elections, said: “He took everything. He practically left me in my socks, shirt and trousers.
“He even took my glasses and and my keys so the police had to break my door down.
“It was a horrific robbery and he kept saying he was going to ‘stick me’, so I was very frightened that he might have a knife.”
Cox was yesterday jailed for two-and-a-half years at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting robbery.
Mr Izaks today welcomed the sentence. He said: “It’s brilliant and I’m glad he got that sentence because he took things you don’t take and it was horrific.”
Sentencing Cox, Recorder Bryan Cox said: “You targeted a gentleman in the sense that you sat close to him in a carriage where he was the only other passenger.
“It is clear it must have been your purpose in doing so to rob him.
“You persisted in your attack, not only taking his mobile telephone with the threat of force, but returning to him and persisting by demanding he remove items of clothing.
“It is a measure of the fear he must have experienced that he complied with your demands.
“It really goes without saying he must have been terrified, having regard to the time of night and all the circumstances.”
Stuart Graham, defending, told the court that Cox, of Hereford Way, Jarrow, had been drinking too much after moving from his native Bedford to Tyneside in a bid to stay away from trouble.
He added Cox handed himself in to the police and confessed what he had done after seeing press reports about what had happened that night.
Detective Wayne Green said: “After an appeal for information in local media, Cox was identified and swiftly arrested by officers.
“I’d like to thank the public for this vital information which has seen Cox brought to justice.
“This was a very intimidating experience for the victim, who was left obviously shaken by his ordeal.
“This was a rare incident and no one should be subjected to such abhorrent behaviour.
“Our dedicated team of police officers based at Sunderland station will continue to help reassure passengers using Tyne and Wear Metro across Sunderland that it is a safe environment to use.”