A MAN who tried to rob a woman late at night on the very day he had been given a suspended prison sentence was foiled by passers-by who rushed to his victim’s assistance.
And Connor Ledwidge was arrested after one of the men kept him in sight and pointed him out when the police arrived on the scene, a judge has heard.
Ledwidge (26) who is from Coventry but of no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to attempting to rob the unknown woman.
He was jailed for 15 months – consecutive to the six-week suspended sentence which the judge also ordered him to serve.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge said that on July 6 magistrates gave Ledwidge, who had a number of previous convictions for dishonesty, a suspended sentence for an offence of shoplifting.
At 11 o’clock that night a woman who was heading along Trinity Street in Coventry city centre carrying two bags, walked past Ledwidge who then grabbed hold of one of them.
She clung on to the bag as he attempted to pull it from her, and he gave up and fled when passers-by intervened.
The police were called, and one of the men who had gone to her assistance followed Ledwidge and kept him in sight before pointing him out when officers arrived on the scene.
Mr Windridge said the victim had not wanted to make a complaint or give her name, but there were statements from witnesses and a CCTV recording which was played in court.
Amy Jackson, defending, said Ledwidge had been released from prison in early June, and had hoped to continue receiving support to help him seep clear of drugs.
But he was at a low point because his mother had died while he had been in custody – and just after his release it was her birthday, and he relapsed into taking drugs and alcohol.
Miss Jackson observed: “Even with his record, this was out of character. He’s dishonest, by his record, but he doesn’t seem to target people or their homes.”
She added that, since being remanded in custody following his arrest, Ledwidge was now free from drugs again.
Jailing him, Recorder Steven Evans told Ledwidge: “You fall to be dealt with for an attempted robbery and for being in breach of a suspended sentence made on the morning you committed this offence.
“A lady who was slight of stature walks past you at about 11 at night carrying two bags, and you attempt to wrestle one of her bags from her.
“She attempted to hold on to them, and other people intervened. Those people are to be commended, because all too often people these days turn and look the other way.
“That lady did not come forward, so we have no idea of the impact on her, but we can only imagine she was absolutely terrified.”
But Recorder Evans added: “I have observed your reaction in the dock, and I have no doubt that when you’re clean of drugs you are an otherwise decent person.
“But when you’re on drugs it has blighted your life, and it has blighted the lives of others you have stolen from.”