Man forced into 'tug of war' for his wallet in Sunderland street robbery

Alan Guiheen
Alan Guiheen

A man was forced into a "tug of war" to try and keep hold of his wallet when  he was targeted by a street robber.

The 62-year-old victim was using a cash machine outside a Spar shop, in Hylton Road, Sunderland, when he was approached by serial criminal Alan Guiheen.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the owner tried desperately to keep hold of his wallet when the 35-year-old grabbed hold of it and suffered an injury to his hand in the process.

Guiheen managed to get away and pocketed £100 cash then threw away the wallet in a nearby street.

He used one of the victim's bank cards to buy cigarettes and alcohol.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court the victim had shouted "Get off, get off, someone call the police" when he realised he was under attack on May 6.

Mr Pallister said: "The defendant continued to pull at his hands with force.

"He thought if he kept hold of the wallet the defendant may give up but he didn't.

"He described a tug-of-war for the wallet."

The court heard the victim finally released his grip and by that time was bleeding.

Mr Pallister said: "He had a small cut to the base of his left thumb which he thinks was caused by the metal Armani logo on the wallet. "

The victim said in a statement after the attack: "I didn't expect this to happen to me. I was shaken up and breathless."

Mr recorder John Thackay sentenced Guiheen to two-and-a-half years behind bars.

The judge told him: "It was a determined attempt by you.

"The court takes into account the impact upon your victim. He was upset, shaken up and no doubt will be concerned in future when withdrawing money from a cash machine."

Guiheen, of Toward Road, Sunderland, had admitted robbery, fraud and two unrelated offences of shoplifting from Wilkinsons in the city.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Guiheen would like to apologise to the victim and is remorseful for what he did.

Mr Adams said Guiheen has suffered tragedies in his life and has struggled to cope.

He added: "Alcohol and drugs are at the heart of the offending and at the heart of that is the troubles he has experienced in his life."