A THUG who grappled with a woman he knocked over while trying to steal her handbag and shopping has been jailed for three years.

Daniel Conroy targeted the woman, who has worked a nurse for 25 years, as she was about to enter the Cleveland Centre in Middlesbrough, but a security guard intervened and he rode off on his pushbike.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the victim's husband arrived to pick her up and confronted Conroy before he left the scene in January this year.

Ian West, prosecuting, said: "The defendant, who had been riding around on his bike in the area then seemed to ride towards the woman, knocking her to the ground, there was a tussle over the bag and he didn't succeed in getting it off her and the defendant then rode off on his bike."

In a victim impact statement, the woman said the attack had left her scared to go shopping on her own.

The 61-year-old woman wrote: "I just can't go out now. I still can't go shopping and whenever I go out I get my husband to pick me up.

"I was at the supermarket and somebody rode past me on a bike and I jumped – I'm a bag of nerves now."

The Northern Echo:

Pictured above, Conroy, of Lancaster Way, Thornaby, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery following the incident.

The court heard how the 35-year-old had been recalled on licence after his arrest as he was sentenced to six years in prison for aggravated burglary in 2016.

In mitigation, Robert Mochrie said his client was aware that a custodial sentence would follow his guilty plea.

He added: "I only ask that you keep the sentence as short as is commensurate with you public duty."

Judge Paul Watson, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, took into account his guilty plea and jailed Conroy for three years.

"You are 35-years-old and you have quite a horrific record," he said. "You have offences of street robbery, which dates back some years, and you were jailed for six years for an aggravated burglary in 2016.

"You were on licence for that offence and under the terms of that licence you have been recalled to prison.

"On the day in question, you tried to rob a 61-year-old woman of the goods that she had bought that day.

"There was a bit of a struggle, albeit no serious harm was caused to the victim, and you have pleaded guilty, so you will get some credit for that."