A MAN who robbed his much older victim of his wallet, as he was walking home from the pub in the early hours, has been branded “dangerous” by a judge.

Gary Littlefair, whose past convictions include the bag snatch robbery of an 85-year-old woman, was given a 49-month extended sentence for his latest offence, committed on July 17, only two days after his previous licence supervision period expired.

Durham Crown Court was told the victim said he had drunk about eight pints at the Station Hotel, in Bishop Auckland, and used an atm at Asda while walking home.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said the man, in his 60s, was then, “jumped from behind” and went to the ground.

Although he managed to get to his feet he was “jumped” again further on as he passed a petrol filling station.

Mr Sabiston said the victim struggled with the robber, who was wearing a balaclava, and was dragged along the road, before his wallet, containing £1,400, was taken.

At one point he thought it was his own son who was attacking him, as the robber used the term: “Dad”.

A taxi driver came to the victim’s aid and after an appeal was made on social media the wallet and some of the money was returned.

When arrested, after being linked through cctv footage, Littlefair said he had no intention of stealing money, as he was in an argument with the other man, after he took four Valium tablets.

He claimed there was a row and a fight, after which he found the wallet on the ground, containing about £1,000, but he was unaware to who it belonged.

Mr Sabiston said the Crown did not accept that version adding that the footage clearly shows Littlefair following and targeting the victim.

In an impact statement, the victim said he was frightened to leave home after the attack, and is always “looking over my shoulder.”

Littlefair, 38, of Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, admitted robbery.

Amrit Jandoo, in mitigation, said much of Littlefair’s 53 crime offending history took place at a time he was, “entrenched by substance misuse”, which he made “great efforts” to overcome.

But, at the time of the robbery, in July, he relapsed.

Judge Ray Singh said it is clear Littlefair targeted his victim and, “made a considerable attempt” to rob him.

As he considers Littlefair poses a risk of further serious offending he passed the extended sentence which means he will only be eligible for release at the behest of the Parole Board, after serving two-thirds of the 49-months.

Upon release, he will be subject to a two-year extended licence period.

The judge also made Littlefair subject of a lifetime restraining order prohibiting him from approaching or contacting the victim.

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