A SOLDIER who was lured into a honeytrap by a woman begging for money before being attacked and robbed picked himself up and continued with his night out, a court heard.

The victim was drinking in Darlington town centre with friends when he took pity on the woman and drew some cash out of the bank before following her into an alleyway.

Within seconds he was surrounded by her two accomplices who launched a ‘vicious’ attack on their target leaving him unconscious after stealing all of his cash.

Gary Brown and Paul Thompson attacked the soldier after they had trapped him in the alleyway, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The judge heard how the victim had little recollection of what happened to him but he ‘dusted himself off’ and continued with his night out after withdrawing more money for drinking.

Paul Abrahams, prosecuting, the victim believes he was targeted by the gang as he was clearly heavily intoxicated at the time.

He said: "He felt pity on her and went to get some money out for her, he then followed her down an alleyway – it was clearly a set up.

"The two male defendants stood at the end of the alleyway, one clearly waiting as planned and the other went around the back affectively cutting him off.

"He can't remember a great deal about it, he came round and continued on with his night."

In a victim impact statement, the soldier said he still couldn't recall what had happened to him but didn't expect to be the target of a 'calculating and vicious attack' while on a night out.

Brown, 40, of Barden Moor Road, Darlington, pleaded guilty to robbery, as did 41-year-old Thompson, of Arkle Crescent, Darlington.

The third defendant will be dealt with at a later hearing.

Andrew Finlay, in mitigation for Brown, told the court how his client had been on remand for 16 months.

He added: "He has had issues with drugs for a number years and this is the first time that he has had specialist treatment for it."

Sam Faulks, in mitigation for Thompson, said his client had been in custody for four months before being released on an electronically monitored tag.

Judge Jonathan Carroll sentenced the pair to 19 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered to attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

"It is quite clear to me that this was a pre-planned three-handed robbery," he said. "You had got your heads together to do this, whether it was because you needed drugs or alcohol or both, it doesn't matter.

"It was clear that he was an easy target as he was drunk.

"She was the who lured him down the alley where, within seconds, you two set about him with a significant level of violence.

"It was relatively short but it was significant. Luckily for you, he was a fairly robust character."

Brown was also ordered to attend a 12 month drug rehabilitation programme while Thompson was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.