A “STUPID” robber who dropped his mobile phone at the scene of a frightening street attack was caught when he rang the police to try and get it back.
Paul Knight had grabbed his victim’s handbag strap as she walked in Farringdon, Sunderland, with her husband at night and dragged her to the ground, leaving her bruised and scared.
You dropped your mobile phone and in a rather unsophisticated act you telephoned the police and inquired if someone had handed it in. That is how you came to be arrested.Judge Edward Bindloss
When the 25-year-old mugger later realised he had dropped his phone during the struggle, he called the police to see if he could get it back.
As a result of his call, Knight, of Anglesey Square, Sunderland, was arrested.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday he was jailed for two years and four months after pleading guilty to robbery.
During the hearing Knight was branded “stupid”, “incompetent” and “unsophisticated”.
Judge Edward Bindloss told him: “You dropped your mobile phone and in a rather unsophisticated act you telephoned the police and inquired if someone had handed it in. That is how you came to be arrested.”
The judge said he was satisfied Knight, who had been trying to raise money to pay off a £500 cocaine debt, was sorry for what he did to his victim.
Knight has previous convictions, but has never been to prison before.
His barrister, Tony Hawks, told the court: “The defendant attacked a woman who was with her husband, he didn’t disguise his identity, he had no weapon, he was incompetent enough to drop his mobile phone, and then sufficiently stupid to go and inquire with the police where his mobile phone might be.
“It does not suggest someone likely to make a successful career as a street robber.”
The court heard the victim, who lost more than £530 in property and cash, has been left “wary” of even being at home after her ordeal, and lives in fear of being confronted again.
She and her husband had been walking home from a social club when she was targeted in March.
Prosecutor Paul Rowland told the court it was about midnight when Knight approached and made a grab for the bag.
Mr Rowland said: “He walked past them and then he grabbed hold of the shoulder bag.
“She resisted and the upshot of that was, eventually, she fell to the ground and the defendant was pulling at the bag still.
“She was pulled along the ground before eventually relinquishing her grip when she realised he was too strong for her.”
The court heard the victim’s husband gave chase, but Knight managed to get away, but was arrested after he rang the police to ask about the phone.
Mr Rowland said: “It was discovered that the defendant had dropped his mobile phone.
“Later that evening the defendant himself made inquiries with the police to see whether a phone had been handed in, and as a consequence of that he was arrested.”