A WOMAN was attacked and robbed at knifepoint by a crack addict as she walked home after visiting her father.

The victim was approached by Michael Pinkney who was pestering her for money before violently confronting her as she headed through Stockton town centre.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 37-year-old grabbed his victim before rifling through her pockets and stealing the £40 her father had just given her.

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, said a friend's effort to intervene proved fruitless and the defendant managed to escape with the cash after producing a knife to threaten his victim.

"He asked her for money and she said she didn't have any but the defendant continued to follow her," he said.

"As she walked along Dovecot Street near Fagg Street, the defendant demanded the money and then punched her – the defendant had a blade which was some three to four inches."

The Northern Echo: Michael PinkneyMichael Pinkney

After his arrest, Mr Walker said the defendant told the police he had been smoking crack cocaine at the time of the robbery in June last year.

And the court heard the victim of the robbery had died since the robbery.

Pinkney was then arrested for carrying out a burglary at a Stockton town centre pub when he, and an unknown accomplice, forced their way into the building through a fire escape in February this year before ransacking the premises.

The defendant failed to force his way in the first time and was seen to leave the area before returning with his accomplice, armed with metal poles to force the door.

Mr Walker said the defendant was caught on CCTV breaking into The Clock Tower pub where he stole a number of bottles of booze. Pinkney was seen to return to the pub and the second time they managed to steal two charity boxes, a computer, a CCTV camera monitor and a handbag.

Pinkney, of Palmerston Street, Stockton, pleaded guilty to robbery, threatening a person with a knife and burglary.

Michele Turner, in mitigation, said her client was horrified at his actions and some the goods stolen from the pub, including the landlady's handbag, had been returned.

She told the court that since his remand in custody her client had become a trusted prisoner who was given the responsibility to ensure that fellow inmates were able to understand the ongoing Covid restrictions.

Miss Turner said he had now addressed his drug habit and said the father-of-two had previously managed to stay out of trouble when sober and drug free.

She said: "He is a Covid representative which is to ensure other prisoners on his wing are able to know what precautions the prison are taking – this is something that he is very proud about."

Judge Recorder Chris Smith sentenced Pinkney to 56 months in custody for the robbery and six months for the burglary, making it a total sentence of five year and two months.