Robber jailed after preying on pensioners

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A career criminal has been jailed after he robbed two women, aged 68 and 79, while on license from prison.

Gary Mitchell, 44, committed the offences in September having been released halfway through a nine year sentence for robbery in 2012.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Mitchell, who appeared via video link from Armley Prison where he is in custody, robbed a 68 year-old woman at a Barclays cashpoint on Northgate in Cleckheaton on September 25 this year.

As the victim took £80 out of her account she became aware of Mitchell standing next to her, at which point he told her, “Give me the money.”

He then snatched the cash out of her hand and ran away.

Two days later, Mitchell, of Westgate in Cleckheaton robbed a 79 year-old woman underneath a railway bridge in the town as she returned from a town centre fair with her great-granddaughter and her friend.

It was said that Mitchell had approached the victim from behind and snatched her handbag, and she was knocked to the floor in the struggle that followed.

Mitigating, Miss Rebecca Young said that Mitchell was full of “utter self-loathing” as a result of his crimes.

“He committed these offences when he was in need of heroin,” she said. “He has been addicted to heroin and been alcoholic for 25 years.

“He believes he wil be addicted for the rest of his life.”

In a victim impact statements read out to the judge, His Honour Rodney Jameson QC, both victims were said to have suffered anxiety problems after the robberies. Mitchell was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.