A MAN who carried out a vicious robbery on a pensioner waiting at a bus stop could face a secure hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Anthony Hartley left his 90-year-old victim lying in a pool of blood after banging his head on the ground in the struggle at the bus shelter in Front Street, Langley Moor, near Durham, last November.

The pensioner was treated in hospital for head and arm injuries.

Durham Crown Court was told Hartley reached inside the victim's jacket and stole his wallet, containing £385.

The wallet, containing a number of bank notes, was later retrieved by police from under a mattress in a bedroom at Hartley's home.

Hartley, 43, of High Street North, Langley Park, near Durham, who suffers mental health problems, was accused of robbery.

He was found mentally unfit to plead at a previous hearing, but the jury was asked to simply determine if they believed he committed the alleged offence. After a two-day trial the jury unanimously agreed that he did carry out the robbery.

Judge Maurice Carr adjourned sentence for probation and psychiatric reports.

"It's clear from the medical evidence that his problems are very long-standing and psychiatrists have already been helping him," he said.

He bailed Hartley to return for sentence, at Newcastle Crown Court, on November 15.