A WOMAN has been left traumatised after an alcoholic grabbed her from behind in an attempt to rob her of her phone as she walked along an isolated path.

Ian Noble jumped out of some shrubbery to follow his vulnerable victim before putting one hand over her mouth and his other arm across her chest then demanding she handed over her mobile phone,

Luckily, the woman was on the phone to her friend at the time and screamed for her to call the police as her hooded attacker held her firmly in his grip.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Noble had spent the day drinking in woodland near his parents' house in the Mowden area of Darlington in the hours leading up to the attempted robbery.

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said Noble let go of the woman when he realised someone was calling the police and she quickly turned around to get a good look at her attacker before he ran away.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Hadfield said the 34-year-old woman had started taking medication to help her get over the trauma but she eventually lost her job and home as a result of Noble's actions in October last year.

He said: "She was a lone female in a lonely spot walking along a footpath in a wooded area and he was wearing a hood at the time – there was no way of her knowing what his intentions were."

Shop worker feared for her life during attempted robbery

In mitigation, Chris Baker his client was a man of good character who had never been in trouble before and had pleaded guilty to the charge.

He said Noble, formerly of Thorter Row, Dundee, was an alcoholic who had lost his job while working in Dundee and temporarily returned to his hometown to stay with his parents.

Sentencing Noble to two years in custody, Judge Peter Armstrong said the attempted robbery had severely affected her life.

He said: "Firstly, she thought she was going to get sexually assaulted, secondly, the offence against her had had a devastating impact on her."